Thursday, September 19, 2013

Thoughts On Warhammer Online's Closing

Yesterday was the 5th anniversary of the launch of Warhammer Online.  So in typical EA fashion, they announced the game will close on 18 December.  Perhaps EA considers putting the game out of everyone's misery the greatest gift they can give?  That's too snarky.  Instead, the decision is strictly business.
"We here at Mythic have built an amazing relationship working with Games Workshop creating and running Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning over the last 8 years. Unfortunately, as with all licensing deals they do eventually come to end and on December 18th, 2013 we will no longer be operating Warhammer Online. As such we will no longer be selling three-month game time codes or have the ability to auto renew your accounts for three months as of September 18th, 2013. From all of us here at Mythic we thank you again for your dedication and support over the last five years."
Nothing personal.  Having read the Warhammer forums I think the way this all played out is pretty sad, but typical for EA.  If nothing else, I would think that EA would want to handle the closing gracefully just as a pure business decision looking toward the future and the launch of other games.  Perhaps EA thinks its brand and reputation have sunk so low that doing so would gain them no benefit.

A Warhammer Goodbye

But this post isn't about EA's relationship with its customers.  Warhammer Online is the first MMORPG I've ever purchased that has closed.  At this point I'm supposed to write about how much I'll miss the world.  Sorry, but I have to go off-script now.

I played Warhammer Online when it first came out back in 2008.  I was looking for a replacement for WoW's battlegrounds and Warhammer seemed like a perfect replacement.  I could PvE in EverQuest 2 and get my PvP fix in Warhammer.  So despite some rumblings about the game launching with only 2 factions I bought the game.  I have fun in the beginner PvP battlegrounds even though Order seemed to lose a lot.  But when the time came to move out of the starter zone at level 12, I just couldn't force myself to find the next zone.  That's right, I couldn't be bothered to find the next zone.  I think that sums up my feelings pretty accurately.  So I just cancelled my sub and walked away.

Warhammer I think will go down in MMORPG history for two features: The Tome of Knowledge and Public Quests.  The Tome of Knowledge was a fun little feature that consisted of an achievement system, a quest journal and a map to show players where to find their quest areas.  After Warhammer launched Blizzard incorporated an achievement system into World of Warcraft.  Warhammer was the first game I had seen with the map feature, but I've seen variations ever since.  The difference between EA Mythic's implementation and all the following implementations is that in Warhammer the map looked like parchment instead of on the regular map, which was rather cool.

The Public Questing system is Warhammer's great claim to fame.  I really liked it, although the system has a great flaw in a linear themepark game as players in lower levels can't finish the quests due to the lack of other players.  I witnessed it in Warhammer and experienced the issue in RIFT when I played in off-peak hours.  But the system works in Guild Wars 2 as the difficulty level for the dynamic quests was way less than what I experienced in Warhammer.

So overall I can't say that the closing of a world I only visited for a month or two leaves me with any great sadness or nostalgia.  I do feel for those players who love the game and are losing their virtual world.  I don't know how I'll feel when EverQuest 2 eventually closes.  But if anyone knows a game not named World of Warcraft that offers WoW/Warhammer type battlegrounds, let me know.  I might want to engage in some casual non-EVE PvP some time.

7 comments:

  1. There are battlegrounds in EQ2. Quite good ones.

    Rift has them too, definitely not so good.

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    Replies
    1. Did the ones in EQ2 improve? I heard they were terri-bad.

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  2. Neverwinter has some battlegrounds.

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  3. What ruined Warhammer was the end game for me, I was a top PVP guild, top PVE guild and we just fault for months with the crashes at the fortresses. I remember how much fun it was to have a wall of orcs blocking the entrance to the castles and us healers behind keeping them up and someone new running in when one fell down. There was proper tactics in those fights, rushes and fall backs. Made me think about old Valley games in WoW. All weekend we would fight back the order and get to the fortress and then...server down.

    Not coming back up until that timer had gone.

    Then it all collapsed....

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  4. Dear guys....i hope you do start a petition to make it free or at least make them have some leaks about the game in order for us to be able to create private servers and enjoy them as if they were retail.thanks

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  5. Warhammer private server comming soon (18th december)

    Disappointed with the closure of official servers ? We give you the opportunity to continue to play for free.
    Our servers will open on 18th December on Open Beta.
    You can find the progress of development in our changelog.

    http://www.warhammer-server.com/

    Hoping to see you soon among us.
    All the best.

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  6. Try Elder Scrolls online out soon

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