As expected the discovery of Warhammer Online: Wrath of Heroes has prompted predominantly negative rumblings within the WAR community, predictably amongst the vocal angry people that are always angry regardless of anything, but clearly it has also rattled the faith of many others. And you can understand why, since folks were expecting proper WAR news, which WoH obviously isn’t, at least not to start with. Sure there’s potential for WoH leading to good things for WAR, but for a lot of people the whole “potential” thing has got a bit old. There’s always something potentially good coming for WAR, but so often it just doesn’t quite happen.
I remain fairly apathetic towards Wrath of Heroes, despite Bioware and some community member’s attempts at hype. I do think it will be a good game, a very good game in fact and I do think it is going to be hugely successful, but I continue struggling to care a great deal about it. Perhaps the beta will change my mind... For me it sits in the same personal category as games like League of Legends, APB, Battlefield and World of Tanks, they’re good fun and brilliant at what they do, but I just don’t play them for long periods of time in MMO terms. I’ll do a couple of months of solid play and then move on, perhaps dipping my toe in for brief visits but never really getting stuck in again. I think it’s their completely instanced and enclosed nature that eventually halts my interest, much like it did with Guild Wars. So for me it is unlikely that Wrath of Heroes will be a factor in how long I am subbed to WAR, regardless what attached benefits that sub has for WoH. The fate of my WAR sub can only be decided by WAR itself. At the moment I’m quite happy with it and looking forward to having spare time for playing more in the near future, but as I’ve said before, long term WAR is going to have some competition and I want to see some further return for that subs fee we’ve been paying for so long.
Unfortunately for us, those subscriptions are very much speculative investments, there is no guarantee that our funding will result in expansions, new content or anything else and in fact our contract with the game’s publishers is in reality just to give us access to the game right now; we have no legal rights to demand anything else. However, regardless of what publishers may think about what a subscription is for, we as MMO gamers pay a sub fee so that game we like grows, stays fresh and can continue to keep us interested. But if that ceases then so will our subscriptions. If the future looks bleak then we’re likely to stop investing, particularly if there are new shiny things elsewhere. And PC gaming has a LOT of lovely shiny things on the way.
So as I’ve said before, for WAR to not be royally buggered by new shiny things (hello GW2, SWTOR, Diablo3, Skyrim et al), it needs to deliver some pretty solid temptations of its own and share some community confidence about. The question is though, considering the whole lack of resources bit, is there anything realistic that could do that?
Actually, yes! There already are things that Bioware Mythic are looking at that could go a long way to securing my (and many others) long term loyalty. Of course this goes back to how I started this post; talking about potential. As such perhaps none of these will see the light of day. /facepalm
Sylvania - They have unused Sylvania assets that were previously developed but never made it into the game. This place is the home of the Vampire Counts and has some pretty cool stuff associated with it. I don’t know how much they’ve got sitting there to use, but if this was a new PvP zone then I would be extremely happy.
West Praag, Cinderfall and the other wasted side zones - I don’t know what Mythic are considering for these zones, but they are considering something. I want them RvR enabled with objectives that affect the campaign somehow. Something that would promote small scale roaming and battling in those zones would be perfect. Not instanced copies though please. Having new scenery would be hugely refreshing, in fact it would be HUGE MASSIVE OMFG! PLEASE GIVE US SOMEWHERE NEW TO FIGHT. Ahem. WAR’s tagline was “WAR is everywhere”, but unfortunately, much like cake, that is a lie. Make it a true instead please.
Monsterplay that doesn’t suck - Yeah I would rather have proper new playable careers, cor blimey would I like that and I remain MONSTROUSLY (sorry) disappointed with the Skaven implementation. Though I would settle for new monster play options that don’t suck, fit better into the game than the Skaven nonsense and are actually fun. Ideally with some form of progression or advancement system that makes them feel worthwhile and perhaps gives customisation options. Now we know that Bioware Mythic are toying with more monsterplay and we know they’re looking at an advancement system, so it seems like this one is half way there. If we could have things like Chaos Trolls, Ogres, Goblin Fanatics, Empire Greatswords, etc, etc it could work quite well.
None of those are unfeasible and all of them are being talked about at Bioware Mythic, so they could happen. If they actually do and they’re done well, that will make Boots a happy bunny. Obviously there’s a bloody huge list of other things I would rather see, but these would go a long way towards preventing other distractions becoming the new obsession.
PS: Fortresses could be a big help, if it gives us some dynamic PvP that works well alongside the campaign, but we'll have to see and it's not enough for me on its own.