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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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  • OUCH (Score:4, Interesting)

    by SupremoMan (912191) on Thursday March 12, 2009 @02:18AM (#27162863)
    That has to hurt. The game was well executed, it was no Age of Conan that's for sure. I guess good question would be how many servers did they start with?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 12, 2009 @02:31AM (#27162939)

    This problem also plagued the EU version launch: there were too many servers and the population was spreaded too thin, meaning that you would log in and find no one else but you on a certain zone.

    With the new patch and the server transfers everything is much fine now: cities are quite populated and there is massive outdoors PvP going on every night :)

  • Re:OUCH (Score:5, Interesting)

    by RuBLed (995686) on Thursday March 12, 2009 @02:46AM (#27163017)

    The problems started when after a few weeks the biggest hype was over and players started going back to WOW.

    Fixed it for ya. This is what I had seen in our guild.

  • Re:OUCH (Score:3, Interesting)

    by chonglibloodsport (1270740) on Thursday March 12, 2009 @03:14AM (#27163169)

    I played Warhammer for a month and change after to released. I admired the amazing artwork and character designs, definitely top notch. However, the game itself was sorely lacking.

    The entire game seemed to be designed like an amusement park combined with an assembly line. Your character is basically funneled through a series of increasingly difficult areas along a linear path that left nothing to the imagination. Exploration was pointless because you knew where you came from and where you were going.

    Aside from the character stats and shiny purple magic items, this game could hardly be called an RPG at all. Interaction was kept to a bare minimum, both with NPCs and other players. The only real interactions you have are taking on 1000s of mundane fetch quests from NPCs or PvPing with players.

    Speaking of PvP, the system is supposed to be the central crowning jewel of the game. Problem is, there are no consequences for it: death and failure are meaningless, you do not lose items on death and the loss a fortress or even an entire territory are barely noticed. Within a short period of time, these assets can be recaptured at no expense. The entire exercise quickly begins to feel repetitive and boring. You have no personal stake in anything in the war and therefore no real incentive to help.

    In terms of gameplay, it is a major step back from the old days of UO 1997-1999. A real shame. It seems most of this industry is too caught up in trying to copy WoW rather than pushing the envelope with new paradigms for interactivity and gameplay.

  • Re:OUCH (Score:5, Interesting)

    by AuMatar (183847) on Thursday March 12, 2009 @03:47AM (#27163333)

    Except that people hate server merges. Especially if a server needs to be split and partially merged with multiple servers. They would have been better off renting capacity but keeping it dark, and lighting it up as needed instead.

  • Re:OUCH (Score:5, Interesting)

    by AuMatar (183847) on Thursday March 12, 2009 @04:12AM (#27163473)

    Personally, I had more fun in War PvP than any other MMO, because of the very same reasons you hate it. Death *shouldn't* have consequences. A game is about having fun. The point of a PvP game is to kill, you shouldn't be afraid to die because it will cost you hours of time.

    As for reason to help- two major reasons. One its fun. If you don't enjoy PvP, why did you buy a PvP game? Two- pride. I play to win, always. So I always try my best to further the objectives of the game, in this case its trying to move the battle forward to eventually siege the enemies city. If we do that, I win. That in and of itself is fun, there is no other reason needed.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 12, 2009 @04:18AM (#27163511)

    Guild Wars is a fully instanced, PvP-oriented game with some MMO elements (I don't know anyone who's played it that considers it a true MMO).
    Hellgate: London was a fully instanced hack-and-slash game.
    Age of Conan was (originally advertised) as a PvP MMO. Now it's just a pile of fail.
    WAR is a PvP MMO.

    Of course they aren't WoW-killers: They're nothing like WoW!
    To be a WoW-killer you have to be a mostly non-instanced, PvE oriented MMORPG... which none of the aforementioned games are.

  • by acid06 (917409) * on Thursday March 12, 2009 @04:25AM (#27163555)
    About 6 months ago, during this interview [mtv.com], Mythic VP and lead Warhammer Online designer Mark Jacobs said some interesting things regarding MMO development, including their own game. In particular:

    According to Jacobs, another way to measure success is to look at the number of servers a game has added in a six-month period. "The corollary to that is if you've seen a game consolidate servers, you know it's in deep, deep trouble -- that's not a healthy sign for an MMO," he said, citing Sony's January-released "Pirates of the Burning Sea" as a recent example. "It will be the same for 'Warhammer.' Look at us six months out. Look at us six weeks out. If we're not adding servers, we're not doing well."

    Looks like they're not doing that well - according to their own standards.
  • Re:OUCH (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Tridus (79566) on Thursday March 12, 2009 @06:00AM (#27164021) Homepage

    According to what I've found, there's 16 servers left in North America, where I believe 40 of the 63 being shutdown are.

    Just another Age of Conan, they massively overhyped to get a ton of initial box sales, and wound up with 2/3 of those people leaving in a couple of months.

  • Re:Heres an idea (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Firkragg14 (992271) on Thursday March 12, 2009 @06:37AM (#27164239)
    Check out eve online thats been doing the one universe thing for years. The universe isnt seamless since its split into a number of seperate systems but the entire population exists and plays within the same universe.
  • by malf-uk (456583) on Thursday March 12, 2009 @08:06AM (#27164775)

    Saying that it's emulating WoW poorly is a bit harsh, considering that the large scale PvP or RvR side of it is more emulating their previous MMO more than WoW. Which is what attracted me (and still does) to this game as I personally find WoW dull in this respect.

    I do personally prefer DAoC's RvR though.

  • Re:Heres an idea (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Cloud K (125581) on Thursday March 12, 2009 @09:33AM (#27165725)

    If you do segment your universe then please, please adjust it accordingly when it quietens down again.

    In Everquest they did both. And they made the world so bloody HUGE (with a capital HUGE) that no matter how many server merges they do, it feels utterly empty. Half the problem of course is that they neglected the older 'segments' and left them to rot, despite actually being fairly important to the universe they've created.

    Server merges are easy enough, but what do you do when your universe is too big? Close bits of it and anger players who had quests there?

  • Re:OUCH (Score:3, Interesting)

    by nobodylocalhost (1343981) on Thursday March 12, 2009 @03:34PM (#27171625)

    No, The PvP is done wrong, very very wrong. There's something wrong when you have to wait over 2 hours for instance based PvP. Balancing issue is an extreme understatement. Why? Because when you lock down an account to play only order or destro, you better make sure there are even numbers of order vs. destro on the server, and even so it still can be uneven due to the fact not everybody plays PvP.
    The classes are far from balanced, so what you can do tons of damage, if you die in 3 hits, your attack power means nothing. And how convenient for the melees that almost every one of them got a ranged attack that can slow people down.
    The RvR level is a good concept, but they implemented in such a bad way that made RvR level totally pointless. In games such as Go or Chess, you go up or down in level by your win/lose ratio. PvP level should be done in the same way since just because you have a lv 40 character doesn't mean you are a lv 40 player. So what really should happen is:
    1) Allow RvR level to go up or down base on kill/death ratio.
    2) RvR scenarios should group people with similar RvR rating together.
    3) Have level cap in each and every RvR zone as opposed of turning people into chicken.
    4) in 1vs1 situations, the chance of winning should be 50% if the players have the same RvR level rating.
    The siege mechanics are horrible in warhammer, i don't know what you are talking about. First, it is a matter of money. The team with more money buying engine/weapon have advantage. Second, offense is a nightmare, without 18+ people you aren't going to do anything and the keep lord will slaughter your team. Third, with public parties, what you end up with are an unorganized band of noobs that are really unfit to go for keeps/castles. There are way too many Leeroy Jenkins wannabes. Fourth, people should be barred from siege 3 am in the morning where noone is on to defend.
    I am not saying Blizzard is doing any better, but Mythic simply are not up to par and what you said are baseless and invalid.

What this country needs is a dime that will buy a good five-cent bagel.

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