The review and video for Global Agenda is still in the pipeline but, while I am waiting to build up enough raw video for the PvP video, I wanted to talk a little about Warhammer Online. I had recently given it another try and it just really confounds me.
WAR, as I have said before, was easily my most anticipated MMO ever. I loved DAOC and I awaited WAR with the anticipation of a little girl at a Justin Whatshisname concert. Of course, like many, I was immensely disappointed. I have tried again and again to return to WAR, hoping beyond hope that things had finally improved enough to return to full time. Time and time again, it has disappointed me. Not only that but I can get no feel for what Mythic is trying to do with the game. None at all.
For one, WAR is the only MMO I can think of that, two years out from release, has seemingly removed almost as much content as they have added. They have removed Fortresses, reduced Auction House functionality and, although not removed completely, have reduced each side to one viable Tier One zone. On the flip side, they have added Land of the Dead. As far as I can tell that is really all they have added. To me, that is a net loss.
Additionally, there are many parts of WAR that come across as amateurish at best. Take NPC pathing for instance. In AoC, WoW or just about any other MMO I can think of, when you pull a mob it paths right to you, every so often you will see weird bugs or pathing issues but that is the exception. In WAR it seems to rubber band back and forth, run backwards to you or teleport past you. No rhyme or reason, the pathing is just bad. Really? Two years out in a AAA MMO and they can’t even get pathing right? I just don’t understand that.
The PvE is extremely poorly implemented. The instances and their boss encounters are a joke. The pathing issues extend to the instances and the boss abilities are just strange. It is hard to describe but they are just not as tight as they are in WoW, LotRO or AoC. It is so bad that no one does PvE instances anymore from what I can tell. Bastion Stair is dead, no one does the low level city instances and the PQs are empty more often than not.
Now, I know that WAR is a PvP game but, damn, if you are going to have PvE in your game then do it right. Seems Mythic is lost when it comes to coding PvE and Mob AI. I just don’t understand it. The PvE is not up to a AAA MMO standard. It is amateurish at best.
I understand Mythic is supposed to have a big announcement this week and, for their sake, I hope it is big. They need it, badly. No new content in almost two years will kill a MMO. There is only so much of the scenario/Keep Siege/City Siege treadmill that people can take. Even for the biggest WAR supporters it will get stale eventually. New content is a must and it better not be something minor like a new race or two. It better be something major. New instances, new zones and new things to do at endgame.
If the announcement this week is anything less, I think you might as well start writing WAR’s obituary. It will be a sad day but it will be time.