Thursday, 19 September 2013

No More WAR

The only surprise in yesterday's announcement that Warhammer Online is to close on December 18th was that Mythic was willing to wait so long. The game has been on life-support for months (some might argue years) but tying the closure to the expiry of the licensing agreement with Games Workshop allows for a degree of face-saving on both sides. It didn't fail, it just...stopped.

I liked WAR. I came to only after it had been out for several years, at a time when Mrs Bhagpuss and I were in something of an MMO rut and were trying out a whole lot of games we'd previously ruled out (WoW) or barely noticed (Wizard 101). We played WAR for a couple of months or so, getting only as far as the thirties but having a tolerably good time, mostly in scenarios. We came back for another run when they added the "free to level 10" option and had much fun skirmishing for a few weeks before we drifted away once more, this time never to return.

Despite being totally immersed in MMOs as a hobby from long before the announcement of WAR right the way through it's development and on to its upcoming demise, I completely missed the hype train. At the time it all happened I was utterly unaware of the explosion in MMO blogging it brought, I'd never heard of Paul Barnet or his triple-threat bears and I had no expectations of the game or investment in the IP.

Coming to MMOs at the beginning of my forties, I was too old by decades to have had the seminal early-teens bonding experience so many had with Games Workshop's creation. My only brush with it was when I bought the original fat volume of the Tabletop RPG rules and GM'd the campaign that came with it. That was a fun couple of months and it made enough impact for me to take notice when the MMO was announced but I was busy with EQ, EQ2 and Vanguard. Moreover, the knowledge that Mythic, who'd made DAOC, a game I never really took to, were developing it did nothing to add to my curiosity.

It would, therefore, be going too far to say I'll miss it but I have fond memories of my squig-herding days. The scenarios were reliably entertaining, the PvE underrated, the world was immensely detailed and explorable (although that huge potential was shamefully under-exploited), the classes were intriguing and played very differently. There was a lot to like about WAR. It just never had a hope of matching the overblown claims of its developers or meeting the over-inflated expectations of its fans.

I wonder how many ex-players will even get around to patching up for one last look around before the sun goes down?

*Image borrowed from the internet because although I took plenty of screenies in the day I have no idea what happened to them. All rights belong to the rights-holder. If that's you and you'd like it removed, please let me know.

1 comment:

  1. WAR had such a fascinating lore...I actually never played the tabletop games, but learned about them through the game. Its RvR was such great fun too back in the days...

    I'm really excited for the next warhammer 40k MMO though. I do hope they have a robust RvR/WvW game mode.

    -Ursan

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