I’m having a flu atm so i decided to use this title. No further need for a tissue. You as a attentive reader will surely notice the parenthesis. Today I want to talk about some issues I have with Warhammer Online.
I want to start with a reference which started me to want to write this down. It’s from Keen at Keen and Graev’s Gaming blog. He thinks that WAR defined some own kind of definition for a MMORPG and called it MMORvRG.
I have to agree that in Warhammer Online this immersion is not coming up and the RP in MMORPG is nearly lost. Even on a RP-server there is not much RP going on. The game itself doesn’t promote RP very good, because it is lacking communication between players. It’s not totally a design fault as there are many ways players could set channels or communicate..But for some reason they don’t do it and don’t get helped too much by the system to do it.
You don’t get too much downtime in the game to be able to talk to others. While you might discuss the strategy for a scenario the other side may already be near the flag, artifact, … RP is not possible without working communication, there is so much action that I don’t have the time to read some stuff in the tome and if I have it, then it’s way overloaded to enjoy reading. So the immersion by playing my character (communication to other players) or by reading the storyline of quests or other tome stuff is nearly non-existent. Keen only cut the RP from MMORPG.. I want to go a bit further..
Many players seem to forget that this is a game. I know that it is very frustrating when you get stomped in scenario by e.g. 500:43 (I experienced it on both sides of the scoring board ..and so are most of you i think), but this is no excuse for forgetting how to behave. I saw some very rude comments in scenario chat because we lost. Cope with it, learn from the mistakes and kick the other side’s butts in the next one. (Again a point which leads to less immersion, but is the only way not to repeatedly hit his head on the table because something went wrong ;) So it’s just a health care tip and not a RP advice.. )
People have to realize that scenarios are not really balanced other than in numbers of participants. Looking at the T2 scenarios I find it very frustrating and a bad design that there are capture the flag scenarios in a tier where there are chars with or without mounts. It’s not so bad in Phoenix gate like in Stone Troll crossing, but i think that it wouldn’t hurt if no one was able to use his/her mount in the T2 scenarios.
Scenarios are also not balanced because people seem to overestimate the effect of the RvR bolster to them. This bolster just enables you to not be totally cannon fodder, but makes you in no way “hero of the day” ;) There is a end of the food chain for every tier and when not being maxed out you will have a disadvantage. The bolster just closed the gap a bit, but you have to keep in mind that a scenario where most of your side is at the lower end of the tier (in terms of rank) and the others are on the higher end will most likely result in loss. Nothing written in stone, but just the probability is imo heavily shifted.
Communication and Team play rules in scenarios. Don’t expect to win against a team of that works together. This is the exception to the rule above. With good team play you can overcome the disadvantage of being at lower rank. Not if it’s too big, but something in the middle of possible ranks can win over disorganized end of tier ranks. I have experienced this in PUGs and in the guild I am on Erengrad. Adding voice chat is a big plus too. Most guilds use vent/TS and this is highly effective in scenarios, where you don’t have time to type in everything into the scenario-chat. Again leading to less chat in the scenario group chat channel.
Coming back to my topic. All this just means less immersion … more of a e-sport character. Not only cutting the RP in MMORPG, but also some of the G. Is this the reason why some people just don’t say MMORPG anymore, but MMO? ;)
I’m curious to see how the community and the game of Warhammer Online evolves. Will it be a game to last for years? I’m not really sure. Fast paced action is one pro.. No immersion and connection to the world is imo a big contra.