Hype… it's a double edged sword.

So having the opportunity to take a break from the 9-5r I was able to spend a little time catching up on some of my hobbies. In particular I actually had some time to read the forums for my current gaming addiction, Warhammer Online.

I’ve spoken about Warhammer Online before and I continue to play my Warrior Priest. Albeit I am at max level now and discovering some pretty major drawbacks in an otherwise very powerful and exciting class. To put it simply, gear.

Gear has always been a problem for hybrid classes and Warhammer Online is no different. The mechanic that makes a Warrior Priest is completely undone by gear itemization.  We are a front line healer and as such expect a fair amount of Toughness, Wounds, & Resistances on our gear.   These statistics would help our survivability significantly.  However, what we find instead is Strength, Willpower, & Weapon Skill.  This puts us in a very awkward situation, we need to be on the front line leveraging our Strength items to regenerate our Righteous Fury in order to heal, but we can’t survive up there.  On the flip side we end up with a bit of Willpower which does allow us to throw fairly decent heals but then we are in the back praying more than healing.

Okay, okay, I know what you’re thinking… Why are you going off on this gear tangent about Warrior Priest when the title of your post is, “Hype… it’s a double edged sword?”   Well here’s why. For over a month Mark Jacobs.. the illustrious leader of Mythic has been hyping the upcoming changes to Warhammer Online and others have been spreading rumors of new classes being released! Well all of it was true, Warhammer Online is releasing a “Live Expansion” called “Call To Arms.”   The problem here is the community at large, the one’s that pay a subscription to play the game.  Well they, nay we, wanted to hear how the game was going to be fixed.  How was the above issue, like I rambled on about, and others going to be resolved.  We love that new classes are coming… (Even though they were in beta and expected at release.)  However, the game is in what many would consider dire straights!  Here’s the only remaining post, that hasn’t been completely moderated off the forums.

Needless to say the announcement went over like a brick.  I’d give you a link to the hundres of forum threads created, but they were quickly locked, moderated, edited, what have you.  But I can assure you there were far more outcries of disgust than joy.  Now I’m aware that complainers typically are the squeakiest wheel, but in this case I haven’t heard a wheel that squeaky since the Trials of Atlantis expansion pack.

Mark my advice to you if you are reading.  Take some quotes from the forums, put them in a Powerpoint presentation and take them in to your investors.  Spend less time trying to crowd control the forum masses and make your investors and you penny pinching bosses understand!  It’s far harder to build an MMORPG when the subscriber base is unhappy.  It’s not the days of old anymore, “MMOrs” talk, a lot.  We talk to each other, we talk about games, we blog, we forum post… we talk.  

And investors if you are reading this.  I suggest you head my words, if you learned anything in school.. even grade school, I hope you learned that history is bound to repeat itself.  I see history unfolding again and it’s not the part of history you’ll like.

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One Response to “Hype… it's a double edged sword.”

  1. Micah Fraley (Valt) says:

    I agree with Chris, I played Dark Age of Camelot for years and the one thing (other than bad players) that killed the gameplay, was adding too much too fast. It seems to me that classes and abilities should be refined at least BETTER before new things are added. Trials of Atlantis killed (if not buried) DAoC, and I feel Warhammer is headed in that direction (even though it is a very new game). EA and Mythic need to be careful to not bring in too much too fast.

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