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Mythic Shutting Down 63 Warhammer Servers 137

Posted by Soulskill
from the consolidation-of-quality dept.
Gamasutra reports that Mythic Entertainment is consolidating a number of their Warhammer Online servers to keep population levels within an acceptable range. 43 servers are set to close in North America and Oceania, and 20 more in Europe. Mythic posted details of the character transfers at the game's website. CEO Mark Jacobs also made a "State of the Game" post, highlighting the live expansion that's currently underway, as well as the changes and updates they have planned for the near future.
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Mythic Shutting Down 63 Warhammer Servers

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  • Re:OUCH (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dtml-try MyNick (453562) <(litheran) (at) (gmail.com)> on Thursday March 12, 2009 @02:25AM (#27162911)

    Way to many. That was their mistake.

    Their goal was the smoothest launch ever, in which they actually succeeded.
    To accomplish this they opened up loads and loads of servers to ensure players wouldn't end up in queue's when logging on to the game.

    The problems started when after a few weeks the biggest hype was over and players started looking at their real lives again. After that the active server population declined rapidly.
    I think this move to close servers was unavoidable, it's nearly impossible to keep as many active players as right after the launch period.

  • Cursed. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by drik00 (526104) on Thursday March 12, 2009 @03:08AM (#27163141) Homepage

    As soon as I heard it being referred to as the "wow-killer" during development, the writing was on the wall, and it was doomed. I've come and go on WoW since launch, and every time someone talks about a "wow-killer," its like giving a college quarterback the Heisman Trophy, its a curse. ...and yes, I just used a sports reference on /.

    J

  • Re:OUCH (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Decado (207907) on Thursday March 12, 2009 @03:23AM (#27163213)

    I think they did the right thing, they started with a lot of surplus capacity and now are scaling back to what they are actually using. Unless (by some miracle) they could guess exactly what capacity would be needed then they have two options, provide too much or provide too little. From a customer service standpoint it is certainly much better to err on the side of providing too much.

    I feel a bit bad for Mythic in that this will probably be spun as some sort of death knell for the game when in fact it is simply the logical outcome of the company doing the right thing at launch.

  • Heres an idea (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Rockoon (1252108) on Thursday March 12, 2009 @05:03AM (#27163749)
    Stop segmenting your playing population into multiple independent copies of the universe.

    Instead, segment your universe.
  • Re:Heres an idea (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Tridus (79566) on Thursday March 12, 2009 @07:54AM (#27164707) Homepage

    That'll work really well when a new WoW raid comes out and a million players are all milling around outside using the summoning stones and dueling.

    Hell, Naxx's entrance is crowded on most nights right now, and that's with hundreds of servers. It'd be unplayable to put them all together.

    This single universe thing doesn't scale beyond a certain point when the players all have a reason to be in the same place.

  • by MistrBlank (1183469) on Thursday March 12, 2009 @09:04AM (#27165325)

    WoW is the first game to "do it right" with Wintergrasp.

    It's a territory that constantly flip flops. The winner of it gives players of that faction a bonus for the next 2 to 3 hours. There are daily quests to be done there to entice people to at least show up once a day. It requires the defending team to actually attack to win.

    Asheron's Call's combat system sucked for most of its thriving life. It was dominated by the ability to cast Drain Health at instant speed and quickly apply healing kits to yourself. You also needed to master "strafe casting" which was a bug in the game engine that allowed you to cast while moving. And there was no reason to pvp other than to pvp someone and harass them, that is lame. Losing everything wasn't terribly exciting either because everything usually amounted to people only using gear that they could easily afford to lose and stack money notes and other high value items that didn't matter if you lost.

  • Re:OUCH (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 12, 2009 @09:48AM (#27165963)

    I didn't go back to WoW

    The point was a holistic generalization, for which you obviously don't fit. For the majority, most likely went back to WoW given the new expansions release shortly after WAR.

    I actually think it was only second to AoC for the dodgiest game releases of late.

    Hmm... dodgiest? Hardly. Fury was head and shoulders above it. And Shadowbane was even worse. And I'm just talking about PvP games. Star Wars Galaxies was a terrible release as well, worse than WAR IMHO.

    WAR did have a relatively smooth release, but had a terrible product at release. I tried every race to try every starting zone and tried a wide variety of classes. I saw some of the worst balancing issues between classes as well as horrible bugs for quests that where only 5-10 quests into the game.

    I could not get an NPC I "saved" to the quest NPC because they would just stop in the middle of a field and now follow me or get hung up on terrain objects.

    Some starting areas were far and away better than others with a clear distinction in details vs a rushed nature. And on top of that, the animation was absolutely terrible (not even getting into the positional attack bug and rubber banding pets). For as much as WoW's "cartoonish" graphics get old, the style and animation is excellent.

    So, basically, I'm saying I agree with you on the fact that I think the game was a rushed piece of garbage, but I disagree that it had a dodgy "release". I had relatively no problems logging on or playing the game. I just thought the game wasn't very good. It had a few diamonds in the rough, but nothing to keep me playing.

  • by Moraelin (679338) on Thursday March 12, 2009 @09:50AM (#27165993) Journal

    Lets make an MMO that looks like and plays something like Wow, and expect it to do wonders! Nevermind that we're going up against the single most profitable game ever made, and one that has had 4 years to refine it's gameplay. Surely we shall succeed despite all odds!

    Surely you realize that the same could be said -- and back then it _had_ been said -- about WoW and EQ. They too were going against the single most profitable game ever made, who had had years to refine its gameplay, bla, bla, bla.

  • Re:OUCH (Score:3, Insightful)

    by zwei2stein (782480) on Thursday March 12, 2009 @10:15AM (#27166347) Homepage

    While in reality it makes people quit. Idea of PvP with consequences being good idea is just form of self flattery (gamer expects to be in winning side there, forgetting that each PvP encounter also produces one loser. Stress becomes issue because it makes not playing the game more enjoyable than playing).

    See: http://www.brokentoys.org/2009/02/19/the-mordred-problem/ [brokentoys.org]

  • Re:OUCH (Score:2, Insightful)

    by varcher (156670) on Thursday March 12, 2009 @12:08PM (#27168253)

    Exactly. By all measures, LOTRO is a succesful game. You do not need to be a "WoW Killer" to be a succesful game, nor even to have millions of subscribers. If you are growing (and if you didn't invest so much you do need in fact 10 times your potential subscriber bases to recoup your costs), then you are successful.
     
    The failure of the most recents MMO isn't that they didn't reach WoW numbers. It's that they failed out of the door.
     
    And the lesson, as painful as it is, starts to enter the producers' brains: You live and die by your launch. You botch your launch, you die.

  • by Zoozie (1499541) on Friday March 13, 2009 @04:03AM (#27178223)
    Many players that left Warhammer did indeed play it for 3-6 months before leaving. If they had fun during that time, I disagree with them calling Warhammer a failure. Most non-MMORPG will not keep people entertained this long. There are just some exceptations that every new MMORPG will be a failure unless they can keep most players for years. I am gonna tell you that this is probably not going to happen ever again for a MMORPG. Today there is simply so many MMORPG out there and some very specialized and many players have already found their favorite game. When new games come they will try it, but after a while go back to their old MMORPG. Comparing to Age of Conan most players left in 1-3 months and did not even reach maximum level, I would call that a failure. Those that stayed then left when they experienced the end-game of course. MMORPG releases are very hyped because most MMORPG gamers want to try it. So initial sales will be very high, but ubscribers will drop drastically in a few months. The question is wether it is 10% or 50% and if it can attract new players. The current problem with Warhammer is also the end-game. It was announced as a RvR/PvP game and since Mythic previously had made DAOC, which is one of the best RvR MMORPG, the expectations where high. I am really impressed by the PvE content of Warhammer actually, it is much better that I imagined, but that was not why I started playing. It is the RvR. And this is the problem. The goal of the game is to capture the other realms main city and fortresss and this part of the game is not working at all, which was a huge disappointment for the players that worked hard to get so far. It is badly bugged, too laggy to be playable and it is also 'instantiated'. The instantiated removes the feeling that you are a realm that are attacking the enemy city. This is not massive RvR, this is just a scenario/arena kind of thing. And the end-gear which is what people are playing to get comes in two flavours. You can get it from PvE or RvR and the different sets are about equal in power wetherr you get it from PvE or RvR. The problem is that is insanly hard to get the gear from RvR because end-game is not working. So everyone simply just farm dungeons over and over, since this is the only way to get it. And this dungeon grinding are exactly what most people that came to Warhammer was trying to avoid.

"Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago." -- Bernard Berenson

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