It’s the game you love to hate, but secretly hate yourself for loving, isn’t it? I get this feeling that there’s this huge undercurrent of people that know about WAR and possibly have tried it, that just won’t take the plunge because of how easy it is to give into the trolling haters on the internets. It’s all too frequent that a complainer will spout off the usual bullshit about how bad WAR is, then follow up a few comments later with his experiences at launch (entirely annihilating the point you see). WAR sold a lot of boxes at launch, and for a lot of people Wrath of the Lich King sucked them right away from WAR. Was the game really as bad as stated? Obvious fanboyism aside, I think not.
People are fucktards you see. While there were legitimate complaints, WotLK gave these players an easy way out. The only thing the players needed to do was justify their actions with something besides “hurr, it’s WoW”. What initially didn’t begin as hate per se, quickly devolved into it. People being the fucktard sheep that they are felt the need to explain their actions so they didn’t appear to be as sheepish. One person gives their statement as to why they were leaving, and the next one needed to have a different reason so they’re not leaving for the same reason. This wildfire of justified excuses went rampant for weeks as servers began to crumble into the wastelands we knew shortly thereafter.
60+ servers began losing population like crazy and for a game focused on RvR, population is a necessity. The steady flow of players back to WoW spurred more and more dead servers, then when the first round of servers began to get merged it was obvious to many of us what was going on. The RvR lakes went quiet and scant with activity, where before you couldn’t sprint across without entering combat. Hundreds of guilds on each server shed numbers with blinding speed, leaving behind the empty husks that could have been something great. I know, as I own two of these. One of the best PvE aspects of the game, being PQ’s, went silent and unplayed. Eventually, the servers began to merge and the world started to make sense again. The mistake made here, was in waiting too long for players to come back.
Community is a stronger driving force than anything else among us MMO players. It’s rare that gameplay is so BAD that a game can no longer sustain itself (oooh APB jab). In fact, WAR is widely celebrated for having gameplay well above the average and top-notch PvP on the market. Having highly accessible PvP and RvR as a focus point is exactly how this game has sold itself, so people getting hung up on PvE seems a little silly. I think really the community at large wants to be good at PvP and WAR has come closer than anything else to bring PvP mainstream. Make WP’s melee healers again, and a couple more solid nerfs to the BW/Sorc careers and they’ll be onto something. Of course, that’s been the trick for nearly two years hasn’t it? Figuring out why so many left, and how to get them back?
I think that’s how it started anyway, and that’s what Land of the Dead was for. The first expansion that was supposed to pull back all those players that left for WotLK. Reality however, was that they weren’t coming back. Mythic held out for as long as it could, and when the servers didn’t start flooding from LotD being released, axes started flying everywhere. The sky was falling, the game was dead, the party was over. None of that is true obviously, just the pursuit of their million subs was over. Keeping the RvR players and Warhammer fans wasn’t a challenge consider how much crap they’d already gone through. It was the end of an era, the era of the Warhammer Online Pipe Dream.
Enter the age of 1.3.x, AKA “Fuck the Mainstream, this game is RvR”. Everything from this point forward was done with minimal resources and a skeleton crew. Polish, balance, revamps, all things that can be done with a few handfuls of people working in the company. That’s all we’ve had for a solid year or so as well and the game is still humming right along. Sure there was the City Siege overhaul, but that didn’t add new content. I think it’s safe to assume that 95% of the stuff coming with 1.4 and the RvR packs will be recycled content, or things pulled out of their “already developed, but unreleased” treasure trove of toys. Upcoming new developments? My bet is on tunnels and caves. They’re easy to do, take up little space, and require the bare minimum of new art to be created if anything at all.
So what does this mean for all the hateful commentors at various gaming sites around the internets? It means nothing. You’re not the target audience anymore, so get over yourselves and bugger off. Mythic isn’t wasting anymore time trying to make this game WoW enough that you’ll log off forever. They don’t even care anymore. The people they cater to these days are the ones playing the game, cruising the forums, and checking out blogs (like this one). A few random people out there might see what we have going on, sub up, and be blown away like so many new players that continually stream into the game, but that’s just the by-product of being a DAMN FINE GAME that knows where the hell it’s going.
So for all those hottie mainstream chicks out there that would totally get WAR hot and heavy, I think instead what I’m getting at is a big Fuck You. Obviously, you have no idea what you’re missing, and we really don’t give a shit anymore. So go on with your bad self, keep bitching and whining that WAR is terrible, no one is really listening or caring anymore. This is the game we love, and there ain’t shit you can do about that.