Tuesday 19 October 2010

Does Cataclysm matter for WAR?

It can’t have escaped your notice that WAR’s RvR Pack and 1.4 are coming out around the same time as World of Warcraft’s Cataclysm expansion. This is not totally dissimilar to when Wrath of the Liche King (WotLK) arrived shortly after WAR’s launch, but this time I think the impact will be far less.

Back in 2008 loads of people from other games (presumably primarily WoW) jumped ship to try out the much hyped Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning. For a range of reasons the game didn’t live up to a lot of people’s expectations and I think for a lot of people it was just too far from the WoW comfort zone they’d been living in. I remember a guildie who quit in the early days telling me he just couldn’t get used to playing a MMO where sometimes no matter what you do, you can’t win. He’d got so used to PvE encounters from other games that he expected to win, all the time. Alas for him, PvP and particularly RvR just aren’t like that.

Not that this was the only reason people left. At the other end of the scale were those people who were expecting WAR to be Dark Age of Camelot with Orcs were and that just didn’t turn out to be the case. And there was no doubt all manner of reasons in-between, so when WotLK came out there was a mass exodus from WAR back to WoW.

Since then WAR has improved dramatically. It’s far from the finished, perfect game we all want, but it is hugely different in performance, balance and general game play. As a result a while back the population stabilised and then started to grow. Yes certain servers are still struggling, but others are getting busier and while I’ve not been able to get any subscriber numbers from Mythic, they have told me the population is growing. Of course you may like to dispute that, but I can only speak about what I see on Karak Norn and Mythic’s word tallies with that. On Norn recently we’re even getting the Supply Lines function kicking in when a zone gets too busy. So where Iron Rock is struggling, other places like Karak Norn, Karak Azgal and Badlands are getting insanely busy.

Anyway I’m starting to go on a tangent and I shall now rein myself back in… The point I was getting to is the population has stabilised in a general sense. If you’re playing WAR right now its most likely because you like PvP and RvR more than PvE. Perhaps you could say WAR is now a niche game for those of us that are primarily PvPers, but don’t want to play EVE for whatever reason. So when WoW’s latest expansion comes out with its excellent PvE, but crap PvP and non-existant RvR, will many WAR players actually care? If you wanted to play a PvE focussed game, wouldn’t you already be doing that?

I know I don’t care about WoW’s expansion; I had my fingers burnt with WotLK. I went and tried it and found myself unable to hit max level due to boredom with the nonstop PvE. Not that I think WoW is a bad game, oh no. I think it’s excellent at what it is good at and is focused on, that being PvE. It’s just not for me anymore. As I talk to other people this seems a pretty common point of view.

So this time I don’t think WoW’s expansion will have that big an impact on WAR. And the same goes for the other MMOs coming out. They have different focuses to WAR and surely if that’s what you want out of your MMO, after 2 years of WAR’s crazy rollercoaster, wouldn’t you have already left?

From my friends I only know a couple of people that are talking about Cataclysm, everyone else is looking ahead to the RvR Pack. As such I suspect that this time for WAR, much like how it won't impact on EVE, the WoW expansion won't have such a cataclysmic effect.


  1. Probs right about WoW. What about Guild Wars 2? Many players from everything talking about that.

    Stars Wars too.

  2. I think the problem is, the grass is always greener elsewhere.

    Whatever comes out, it's going to be starting from a lower level, since it's had less time to develop, unless its the new Blizzard MMO, where we all know it will have had a lot of cash thrown at it.

    Do I think it will impact us, not really.

    PS - I think it will be space theme, and I wouldn't be surprised if it's Starcraft in space.

  3. I have a theory that the 1.4 patch plus the new rvr packs is at the smaller end of the scale in terms of what mythic could do. The reason being that they know cataclysm is coming and that they cba to release new content and for it to be completely overlooked by the new WoW expansion. I think 6 months after 1.4 we will be looking at another expansion for WAR.

    As for "starcraft in space the MMO" yes absolutely they need to choke Warhammer Dark Millennium to death at birth so I reckon that a starcraft MMO coming out at the same time is guaranteed.


  4. Im also waiting for the RvR pack. But im also going to try WoW cataclysm - but not right after the launch. I really enjoyed WoW before and PvE, but i gave a shot to WAR, even tho i knew its PvP which i dont like (because in WoW, PvP was boring).I fell in Love with PvP (RvR) in WAR...its truely epic. But sometimes u get bored of constant bashing and stuff like that and you want some PvE to be relaxed. Thatswhy its good to play WoW sometimes (just a short time, because pve gets boring even faster). WAR unfortunately has so little PVE and most of it is quite Broken imo.
    Anyway. Cant wait for RvR pack. This seems one of the Biggest changes so far in WAR :P

  5. I can't see WoW's expansion having a huge impact on the game this time. I'm sure a lot of people will jump ship, try it, and be back here. Everyone has a home MMO and I think most of the WAR players right now have picked WAR as their home MMO.

    I returned to WAR with a r/l friend who plays WoW. He left the day the WoW patch dropped. He was unhappy with WAR because: no PvE and not enough scenarios. He just didn't know what to do in the lakes and wanted a nice linear path set out for him. I tried hard to show him where the fun was but he just didn't bite. oRvR is very dynamic but we all know it can be a complete bore when there isn't any opposition. He expected to jump into a lake, find lots of people, kill them all, and get a cool item. The reality is jump into the lake, find no one, then get zerg camped at the WC for 30 minutes until more of your peeps show up and you stomp them. I honestly think there is nothing Mythic could ever do to attract a player like him. But to each their own!


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Half man half pixel. Music obsessive, likes a drink, occasional bastard.