What is in the future for WAR?
I think few have very high hopes still. Though I think we all did at release. Dwindling populations, new and seemingly better games to try out, there’s not much to keep the few of us on that are still on… on. Not that it is that few, just in comparison to this time last year. I would suspect based off my supreme estimating capabilities that WAR has somewhere in the realm of 128K subscribers left between NA and Europe.
How do I come at such a rash and unfounded answer?
Actually … I assume that Mythic had 800K at Sept 30th, 2008. And immediately lost 50K by October 10th, even before the 30 day renewal date. By December, just over 300K and in the beginning of March they just had about 300K. In six months they took a 62.5% hit. Since then it has been 6 months. Between that, we had more server consolidation and a new year of MMO releases. I assume the heaviest losses are taken in the first 3 months. Assuming that 60% is more of a rate of 30%, we could assume that the current subscription population is somewhere between 150K and 220K. However you then have to compete with the new release, which most likely stole another 70K-90K of that. However, some of those have returned, leaving you with more likely a 60K-80K loss when mitigated by that offset. Leaving us with more like a 90K to 160K population. But more over, there was also a MAC release (coming) and then a Korean release. Which would help bolster their entire stats to somewhere near 110K to 175K. I take an wieghted average based on the above and find 128K. But dice solutions are more fun. Not to mention there might actually be better estimates out there. I just haven’t seen them published by Mthic or EA.
As for the patch, I like the overall accomplishments and the main focus of the patch. It’s realistic, it’s helpful, it is a good move. Thumbs up on your work, Mythic. I give you a A-.
For those that don’t know, you can read the notes here: http://warherald.warhammeronline.com/warherald/NewsArticle.war?id=945
At the bottom of the page is the link to the full patch notes.
For those that can only read one big thing at a time and have already committed to this blog; the main point of this patch is to eliminate the fortresses, better RvR combat stability and new player help. And of course a long list of bug fixes and career changes that may or may not have been implemented. You can read on to see what I am talking about in the Negative section. [The reason for your minus Mythic. Not that you will read this, but still.]
Though I like Forts, it just is finally a good move. There is really no fun way to take a Fort, even undefended without a zerg and then two huge loads of zergs meeting is just one big, lagfest. And even for a great running new machine like mine and living close to Virginia, I rarely ever have lag, except two places. Forts and Cities. The fort is there for two reasons, to get into Conqueror and to get into the city to get Invader. Since we can now get Conqueror from Keeps in this patch, and then Cities will be that much easier to get into. I stand behind the move as an overall good one to make.
Apprenticeship!!!! Is a win. Let’s face it, the lower tiers are dead. God help your friend if he/she just finally get’s into the game. Cause he will be all alone. Well not now. Just throw him a buff and bam, they are a 40 too. Doesn’t have the abilities though. But he/she will make a fine button smasher addition to the zerg. The only question I had here, that I received no reply to, was do the flight points get opened up for them? Unfortunately no. But summoning stones work well.
There have been all kinds of other changes. And I thumb them all in the majority into the upward direction.
As for my criticisms. The career changes and fixes drive me up a wall on every single patch. It’s a freakin to-do list. An objectives to accomplish list if you will. It’s clearly not what you have done. How could I say such a thing? Because every patch, I go onto a couple of the test server nights and go through with my toons and see if you did fix them. And it’s not so much the damage increases/reductions or the bonus stats. It’s the basic CORE abilities that need to work.
For example: Warrior Priest’s Judgement ability. It’s been on 5th patch notes as fixed. Really, when do we stop believing you. Well I did. And finally it’s fixed! I know, you should get a round of applause. But this is the 5th time. So really you only deserve an “About Fucking Time” cupcake.
Further more, is the White Lion’s Feline Grace ever going to work? I like how it’s fixed to the it sometimes does. I like how I can sometimes accomplish something. Maybe we WL’s can all sometimes pay our subscriptions.
I’m mixed on my feelings for keep changes. I like the defense rewards. I don’t like the 10 minute cooldown for it.
The keep Hero is able to be pulled out to the balcony too far. It makes the defense near impossible. Either the lords need to be made more powerful (AOEs) with more hitpoints, or the drag length is too far. Too often I see 2 WBs able to easily defeat a defending 2 WBs. I think that it should be possible for the same number to take down the same numbers. But if they can kill the Lord and sweep a keep in under 30 seconds, somethings wrong. And that seems to ‘keep’ happening. Pune intended. I’ve only been in 2 successful defenses, both were where we outnumbered 3 to 1. This needs to be evaluated better.
Ummmmmmm …. <Advice> channel. Great idea. Too late. But great. You needed this last November. I can’t see your numbers, but I don’t see that you are picking up that many new users.
<T4> being only for realm leaders is …. dumb. I see no good argument for it. Just like any other channel, abusers will be ‘ignored’ and reported.
I feel the testing server process fails its point. I get on, I listen in vent, I try to follow along; I’m also testing to see how well you performed on your to-do list and issue my giant feedback. But in the testing process, the devs are hearing the wrong thing. All I see are suck-ups and compliments. I don’t want to see over criticisms bashing the game, but really, lay off the gravy train guys. It then occurred to me as to why these seemingly avid gamers have such high admiration. Mounts.
This is just another grind for them. The come here, try to get noticed and want that special mount. I can’t fully prove it. But I didn’t see any testers riding on one. So …. I’m pretty sure that’s what we have. I like that there is incentive to get on to the test servers, but if you had properly tested, we probably wouldn’t have needed immediate server downtimes after the patches officially hit. Clearly, things weren’t tested as thouroughly as hoped. I think keep difficulty was one of them. Just my take, I don’t know how to fix it. But the ass kissing is in the wrong direction.
As for Hope ….
It’s not so much that I say hope as intents for believing things are on the right track and we will all get what we want. I’m not sure that’s possible. I think the vast majority has left or is on the fence about doing so, because the future of WAR is bleak to them. It’s not clear that we will ever see an expansion. The future goals listed just say as normal, “career balancing.”
Quite frankly, career balancing means nerfage. And it’s probably the reason you have 1/8th of the population you did a year ago. It makes sense to me why you are here. When you nerf something, that player doesn’t say “well, I was kinda too powerful in that respect. I’ll guess I just live with my neutered self or maybe I’ll change toons.” Some might. But clearly you are asking for a rage quit.
My advise, if you want to better balance things out, do it in T5. We can all agree to that being the best case. Just is it going to happen. I doubt you would be worried about T4 balance that much if it was on the way.
If you think back to T3, things are pretty unbalanced. Choppas/Slayers are running about with a pull and Ranged DPS is getting amazing tactics to their BS skills. It is not a fun time for a healer. Actually I always felt OP (over powered) as a WL. With only one healer I was able to cause all kinds of mayhem. Can’t say that in T4. But really in one year, has anyone cared that T3 is unbalanced. No.
Why? Cause T4 is just around the corner. And the same answer sits there for any further balancing acts. Do it in T5.
Is that the problem? We won’t ever see that? No expansion is ever coming? That’s the going belief. Though some are hoping hints on the forums say otherwise. I don’t see that being the case. Keeping plans on expansion secret is just far out moronic. You are losing subs, the future is not clear to the players and the save-all solution is a secret? I don’t think so.
You don’t go dating/courting a girl that is basically screaming for a ring, let her leave and show up out of the blue in a year later with an engagment proposal and think it’s going to be accepted. If Mythic/Bioware/EA had an expansion plan, it would have been announced, IMO. I don’t believe these type of rumors.
We are left with this at the end of Jeff Skalski’s letter:
Fairly bleak. Sounds like the product is more worried in being repackaged to new customers than continuing any possible success in the current customers or atleast those that have left in frustration.
Overall, the game is the only one you can get your mindless PvP fun. And it keeps us niche players. Us PvPers and Games-Workshop fans. We aren’t completely happy though. And subs like me, you only have in and out subscriptions. I think we all just feel that we are lacking in new content. Live events are nice, but we need more solid advancement.
This patch is probably the only one of them that actually initiated changes I can mostly agree with. For that, Mythic gets its Kodus.
In the next couple of days, or tonight if traffic sucks, I’ll be preparing what ideas that Mythic could implement as great changes and ideas to regain its populations back. All in respect to avoiding a full blown expansion.