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News & Features Discussion  » Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning: The Way Back Machine - WAR's First Impression

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Novice Member

Joined: 9/08/10
Posts: 434

OP  2/05/11 12:04:25 PM#1

This week on The Way Back Machine,'s own writer Bill Murphy takes a look back on Managing Editor Jon Wood's initial impressions of Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning from August 20th, 2008.

It wasn't long ago that Mythic's Warhammer Online was crowned as a potential "messiah" for online gamers sick of the WoW phenomenon.  We had a lot of coverage on WAR leading up to its launch, but none are perhaps as indicative of how the game eventually turned out as our First Impressions by Jon Wood back in August of 2008.  Really, it's first impressions that wind up holding the most sway on a player, and this preview is a good example of how WAR was seeming so strong a title from the outset.

Read more here.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/31/06
Posts: 2115

2/05/11 1:08:42 PM#2

so much potential... wasted.


Novice Member

Joined: 8/08/08
Posts: 80

2/05/11 1:13:16 PM#3

let us hope Dawn of War 40k : DM won't be a disappointment like this one turned out, granted it was a fun game mind you but it just turned to crap soon after launch.


Novice Member

Joined: 6/01/08
Posts: 21

2/05/11 1:26:17 PM#4

It's rushed launch is what killed it for the first year and a half. I resubbed using the free 10day thing for old subs last year and it has improved.



Apprentice Member

Joined: 10/24/03
Posts: 923

I don''t have to know how to make a better game, I only need to know where the "CANCEL" button is!

2/05/11 1:32:59 PM#5

Instead of spending so much attention and resources on Ultima, EA should field a quality team to finish this game and re-release it. PvEer and RPers would eat this up if they were given more material and a finished world. I hate PvP, but I did kind of enjoy playing some of WAR's scenarios until they condensed them down to only a handful.


Given sufficient focus on PvE and "quality of life" things (replace the stupid dwarven copters), with this IP, EA could turn it around. The trouble is that I don't think the will is there and the focus is on SWTOR right now.

"Soloists and those who prefer small groups should never have to feel like they''re the ones getting the proverbial table scraps, as it were." - Scott Hartsman, Senior Producer, Everquest II
"People love groups. Its a fallacy that people want to play solo all the time." - Scott Hartsman, Executive Producer, Rift


Advanced Member

Joined: 7/02/08
Posts: 3762

2/05/11 1:33:15 PM#6
Originally posted by Insanelol

It's rushed launch is what killed it for the first year and a half. I resubbed using the free 10day thing for old subs last year and it has improved.



It has improved quite a bit.  Unfortunately, it appears that EA and/or Bioware decided early on not to support this title, presumably due to the rough start.

In my opinion, they had a real window of opportunity to revive this title, but have instead decided to allow it to languish.

All in all, it's a pretty good game still.

Hell hath no fury like an MMORPG player scorned.


Novice Member

Joined: 7/03/04
Posts: 3618

2/05/11 1:38:56 PM#7

I think the OP's article raises an excellent point.  I can play a game for a relatively short time and get an idea of a games strengths and weaknesses.  It's not rocket science most of the time when games fail.  Games often fail for very predictable reason which are usually readily apparent.


Some people insist you must play the game all the way through and experience every nook and cranny of a game before predicting success or failure. Not so.  Design flaws are readily apparent from a short play time with a game.  You don't need months.  In most cases, several days to a couple weeks can be sufficient. 






  User Deleted
2/05/11 2:00:28 PM#8

Thing that destroyed the experience of the game (there was many things, but this one was the final nail in the coffin) is absolute lack of cummunication with players. Devs just dong give a damn what players want in general and even on lower level, like I never got responce to bug reports, when even "thank you, for carin" would do and nobody actually cares about the goldsellerers, who are constantly spamming ingame chat.


Novice Member

Joined: 12/06/10
Posts: 1

2/05/11 2:30:37 PM#9

Best pvp game


Novice Member

Joined: 6/05/06
Posts: 344

2/05/11 2:41:33 PM#10

The problem with the "preview" was that Jon started off by admiting he had not spent much time in the game and yet wrote the preview for, which they published.  It was like saying "Hi, I didn't do my job adequately but here it is anyway because I'm expected to write this regardless of how much time I've played the game."   Also note that there is no commentary about the crafting system, which is very important to many players.  Did Jon even test out the crafting (many complained it was too bland).

There were several shortcomings in WAR that should have been pointed out right away to anyone spending only a short period of time in the game.  First, the fact that many people (not me, but many in my guild) reported configuration problems and constant crashing with the game. Perhaps Jon didn't crash, but so many people were crashing it should have been mentioned. Second, an PvP focused game with just 2 sides is destined to have problems because losers quit, and the winners get bored and quit.  Anyone could have seen this coming; Mythic promissed to address it in pre-launch interviews and never did anything for the first year of release after most servers were closed. Third was grossly imbalanced classes, particularly the Bright Wizard and group healing classes (the group heals were better than the single-heals, making them 1 button pressing class).  This should have been mentioned in the preview.  Other website previews I remember commenting specifically about the Bright Wizard overpowered abilities. 

Look, I liked the game and played long enough to have to transfer 3 times because of server closings, but those glaring problems I knew were going to eventually kill the game. All Mythic/EA did was fire the producer and gloss over the problems with more PvE content.


Novice Member

Joined: 1/29/11
Posts: 1280

No man controls my destiny... especially not one who attacks downwind and stinks of garlic.

2/05/11 4:03:54 PM#11

Game could have been great.  It is unfortunate that currently the game is hardly supported.  There are some real rampant problems with the game, and with the 3 devs left over there (just guessing here) I highly doubt it improving.  Another round of server merges is coming as well.  SBE1, I was unfortunately one of those who had massive problems with stuttering and crash to desktops.  The game did get better in that regard so I give them that.

Also, all the hype Mythic did pre-launch did a ton of harm to this game.  Paul Barnett kept spouting off on how great the game is going to be, and how everyone will be hybrids, how healers wont be just standing in the back and heal.  Too bad that never happened.  WAR IS EVERYWHERE!  Yeah right....the 20 people left on Iron Rock really think war is everywhere.  Mark Jacobs stating that "If we are opening up new servers six months from now, I consider the game a success.  If we are closing servers down, we have done somthing wrong".  Six months later after launch?  Server merges.....


Novice Member

Joined: 8/05/06
Posts: 126

You crit the English Language for 7,341 damage.
English Language summons Grammar Police.

2/05/11 4:04:53 PM#12

Was that the short version? He barely mentioned anything in that game. I think he spent more time talking about "riding the disc" than anything else. I think he needs to play a surfing game.

There was ENORMOUS hype surrounding this game from the date it was announced up until launch. So many people saying it would be a "WoW Killer" (lol), so it wasn't just Mythic building the hype, it was the people sick of Warcraft pumping it up to ridiculous levels.

I didn't join when the game launched, so apparently I missed a ton of the problems by instead trying a 7 day trial in the following month of March. I have to say, I loved the game initially, thought it was awesome. Played Black Guard (one of the delayed classes not included at launch, much to manys dismay) and Squig Herder, and had a blast exploring the colorful, very detailed world - some areas are quite beautiful and scenic. Loved the gritty, nasty combat with it's fast pace. Scenarios were awesome. Scavenging and talisman making was an interesting tradeskill with great rewards. PQs had a nice balance of bringing people together and getting people to communicate, with the open group - anybody can join, and those challenging PQ bosses were very cool. Open RVR is so great in Tier 1 and Tier 2, and then taking keeps, defining activity of the game. So many tough  battles and swarms of people rushing around. And to top it all off, we've got statues of the top RVR performing players put up in capital cities! Can't forget, when I got billed multiple times for one month, they corrected the problem quickly and my accounts all got kick ass rewards in way of apology. Everybody who didn't get the billing problem was jealous ;)

Now, before I get called a figuratively blind fanboy, I do realize the game has many flaws. Bugs that were in place at launch, some of them still exist today. The game, in some ways, had a lack of polish in numerous ways. Class balance always has and probably always will be a point of contention. As will the rewards for RVR/Scenarios/PQs. Some say the PVE is stupid and pointless, I kind of like it and I'm glad it's there. Some say crafting is shallow and limited - I'd agree the game could use some different crafting professions. Some say the game could use a third faction, I think that would be interesting to see.

Most people now, when they see an article about WAR, feel sadness and bitterness. It's a game most serious MMO gamers had really hoped would reinvigorate the genre and give us a new triple A title to love and cherish. Now it's hard to think about WAR without thinking of the wasted potential, how badly the ball was dropped, how our high hopes were in many cases dashed on the rocks. Could have been so much more. If only the developers had found the winning formulae. If only there were more of "this" and less of "that", if only they'd taken another year for beta developement, added all the classes and cities, balanced better, bug fixed better, stopped the lag and crashes earlier. People loved the idea of this game and wanted so badly for it to succeed.

Now it's just a fading afterthought, tinged with anger, as more and more new games come out. The only thing that could make it relevant again, for it to have a resurgence, would be major additions and changes - they just don't have the manpower for that now. The patches and updates have little things here and there, every few months. Bit by bit, as the ship sinks.

Maybe someday, there will be a new Warhammer MMORPG that does the IP right and is a huge hit. The source material is a wonderful opportunity.


Advanced Member

Joined: 3/01/07
Posts: 1532

2/05/11 6:12:19 PM#13
Originally posted by Insanelol

It's rushed launch is what killed it for the first year and a half.


Naahh... What killed it, is simply that they completely ignored feedback from us who participated in the beta.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 9/04/07
Posts: 4

2/05/11 7:41:38 PM#14

I loved the game after all the glaring bugs were shuffled off into the ethers, i stopped playing EQ2, which i played since release, for it .  What killed it for me was when they removed the oceanic servers as an aussie i try to play on the current servers and get into RvR i'm attacking players that aren't there anymore they are either dead or on other side of zone, lag made RvR unplayable and thats what made WAR what it was...oh well guess i have to wait till 40K comes out


Spotlight Poster

Joined: 6/15/04
Posts: 4242

2/05/11 7:50:25 PM#15

It was the PVE game that killed it.  Boring droll, pointless.  The PQs ended up being empty and hardly if ever used.  Even I liked them at first, but something changed past the first tier, I'm not quite sure what.  Maybe because it was more of the same just longer and less exciting to plod through.  The game could literally have had a cap of 10 and done fantastically.


Novice Member

Joined: 5/12/07
Posts: 115

2/05/11 9:34:52 PM#16

scenarios killed it. they wanted an open world with RvR but people just went and played the instanced scenarios instead. no wonder the world was empty.

  User Deleted
2/05/11 10:04:42 PM#17

This is one of saddest stories in MMO industry. The game had a lot going for it but in the end did many amateur mistakes:

- The network code is rubbish, it was desynced all the time.

- The game does not feel safe, gritty is cool but not from the start till forever when you play all day long.

- Failed social engineering leading to inbalanced sides and inbalanced ares of the game.

- Too much focus on PvP. Mainstream MMO will not survive on PvP, do not listen to vocal minority, they can never be happy because what they want is impossible.


Sieges was total and I mean total brainfart: population even more segregated, uderdeveloped, focused on PvP, straining engine. Anyone in business looked at it and knew his competiton is clowns. And so when Blizzard announced their realease date it was clear they no longer take WAR seriously; they probably cared more about AoC.


Elite Member

Joined: 4/21/06
Posts: 4281

Let go of my ears, I know what I'm doing!

2/05/11 10:37:18 PM#18

While it's fun to read what John posted... but what I REALLY wanted to see were the WAR fanboi responses to his preview.  THAT's where the big entertainment lies.


MMO Business Correspondent

Joined: 2/16/09
Posts: 1151

2/05/11 10:50:35 PM#19
Originally posted by Robsolf

While it's fun to read what John posted... but what I REALLY wanted to see were the WAR fanboi responses to his preview.  THAT's where the big entertainment lies.


Entertainment? Sounds like something out of Children of the Corn.

Check out my monthly column on


Novice Member

Joined: 12/05/10
Posts: 9

2/06/11 12:18:50 AM#20

Well ive only been playing for 2 months now, never tried it at release and its prob not perfect although ive yet to see a game that is.

All i know is it is the most fun ive had playing a mmo since planetside, and the first time where ive reached lvl cap with a mmo and the first time ive had multiple characters.

This game is underaprciated but easily the most fun thing on the market "for me".

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