Winds of Fail


Against my better judgment, and possibly related to the fact that I could not locate the box for Lord of the Rings Online that I purchased for $6.00 on a clearance rack, I re-subbed to Warhammer Online five days ago.  Taking my rank 31 shaman into tier 4 content and experiencing the “end game” of Warhammer has shown me a new perspective on the game and has helped me better understand where the game has been and where it is going.


First off, the zonal domination system works perfectly.  A single realm can focus all of their efforts on one open RvR zone and lock it down over the course of thirty to forty five minutes and lock that zone.  This moves the war to the next zone and one step closer to a fortress siege and therefore, one step closer to putting a city into contested zone.


The problem with the zonal domination system is that it encourages a realm to focus all of their efforts on just one zone.  This creates huge problems for the game as hundreds of players descend on keeps for both attack and defense.  Some time ago, Mythic introduced the Supply-Line system, to alleviate lag and poor performance at fortresses.  This set a population cap on fortress RvR participants and required that everyone participating be at least rank 37, or risk being ported back to their realm’s closest warcamp.  This is understandably frustrating for under-rank players, many of whom will spend hours locking down RvR zones in a concentrated fortress push, only to be locked out for the finale. 


Currently being tested on the Black Crag server is the new feature called Winds of Change.  The Winds of Change is another feature seeking to coax the best performance possible out of the RvR zones and keeps.  Essentially what this does is detect when populations in one area are too large and are affecting server performance.  The game will then start teleporting dead players, who may or may not be waiting for a rez, out of the area.  Once all of the dead players are gone the game will start porting out the heavily wounded.


Most infuriating out of all of this is that Mythic continues to try and use the band-aid approach to improving game performance.  Back when the Supply-Line system was implemented, it was hailed as a temporary solution.  Now with the Winds of Change system currently being tested on a live realm it appears that Mythic just doesn’t know how to support the massive RvR that their game promised and it’s player clamor for.


Clearly anyone still left playing Warhammer Online at this point is there for the RvR.  Even more clear is that WAR’s main appeal to both new and existing players is open RvR.  Wrath of the Lich King easily outpaced Warhammer’s afterthought PVE and left only a strong core community of players who were mainly focused on open RvR.  The game needs to be able to support hundreds and hundreds of players fighting concurrently over objectives and keeps. Anything less will simply be a failure.  Deliver what was promised.  WAR is everywhere.


~ by Centuri on April 29, 2009.

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