After a few weeks of pox and xmas misery, I have finally been able to get some decent gaming time in, most of which I have spent playing WAR on my Shaman. It was very interesting to see the reality of the situation after all the drama in the community. There’s been a LOT of doom calling going round of late, a big chunk of which has been the usual sensational forum posts when someone quits and feels they must tell EVERYONE how shit the game is that they have been playing for 2 whole years. That’s right despite them hating it, they spent 2 years playing it. Uhm… ok? Either they are utter smacktards or they’re just talking over excited bollocks.
Having said that and as I’ve pointed out in recent posts, there are quite a few sensible reasons to not to be overly happy in WAR right now. Anyone claming 1.4 was a success is deluded. The main crux of the problem is down to timing, more so than what the patch actually did. You see a patch with RvR changes like this was always going to have problems, always, no question. As such it should not be going live without a developer team able to constantly tweak things and respond quickly should any major issues arise. Unfortunately the Christmas holidays didn’t really help here. No reasonable person is going to expect Mythic to not have time off over the holidays, but MMO gamers and particularly the forum fame brigade are not reasonable people. So when things with 1.4 went badly wrong (RR84 bug I am looking at you, amongst things…) as Christmas arrived it was always going to be Santa delivering Mythic a negative hype explosion of epic proportions.
I guess everyone should have seen it coming, Mythic certainly should, but I don’t know what really drives their release schedule and the pressures on them. I can speculate of course. Nipping ahead of Cataclysm? But alas the renown rank 84 bug makes (or “made” as I believe it gets fixed in tomorrow’s maintenance?) the game unplayable for people hitting that rank, which of course means the big name hardcore guilds get hit the hardest and find the game a nightmare. Just as Cataclysm comes out to lure people away… DOH!
So as I came back after reading forum rage after rage after rage, I wasn’t sure what I would find. Apparently our server is utterly dead! OMFG!
Has it taken a knock? Yes. Is it actually OMFG BAD? No.
Is it bad enough to be concerned? I don’t think so, I've been fighting every night I've played and had a good time, but it’s hard to tell, because this time of year is always funny for MMO populations, particularly in games with older average player base. People’s play times go very strange. The server is incredibly up and down right now. The other night I was having a ball with a bunch of mates fighting between 4 and 6 Order warbands in Praag, the map was a sea of blue dots, it was mental. And then POOF! They vanished almost instantly, not to another zone, they just logged. It was probably the best coordinated withdrawal manoeuvre I’ve seen since walking in on my old mate dirty Fred having a go on another bloke’s lady... The rest of the night was fairly quiet with only a few warbands and small scale groups scattered around the pairings. Then the next night it was very quiet until late and it suddenly went ape-shit, carnage in all 3 pairings at once. And once more, all of a sudden, quiet.
Really it is too early to tell how much things will pick up to normal Norn levels or not, but the server death predicted? Nah, this is a wobble… albeit a big one. With Rift coming out in March though, Mythic need to be aware that a wobble can lead to a tumble. They seriously do need to have a solid couple of months and most importantly go FULL ON with the communication about WAR. To confirm, I said ABOUT WAR. Talk about WAR lots, bright futures, great stuff coming, give us all that hype malarkey.