Tag Archives: Warhammer Online

…and Let Slip the Dogs of War!

One unfortunate hobby of mine lately is watching the slow demise of my old Warhammer Online guild. While I’ve already cancelled my WAR account it’s always painful for me to watch a gaming guild or clan that I was in, especially one I was real involved in, die. You might remember me describing the demise of my Age of Conan guild last year.

Anyway, the guild I had selected for myself before the launch of WAR had a nice website and seemed like a great bunch of characters. I’d describe them as “casual hardcore” – that is, they’ve got a casual attitude when it comes to rules, raiding, and the like but for the most part they put in the same amount of time and dedication as a lot of hardcore groups. I joined them because of that, their PVP focus, the fact that they were relatively small, they’re only dedicated to WAR (rather than being some massive, multi-gaming mess) and the type of people they seemed like judging from their forum posts. They were friendly, mature, yet they liked to joke around. Indeed I clicked with them fairly well – certainly better than with my old Age of Conan guild.

Through the course of the game we of course got to know each other better after many fun and at times crazy conversations on our Ventrilo server and on our forums, we PVPed together all of the time, and we even set up a little leveling pact group later on that was fairly successful at keeping us playing together. Shortly before I started to lose interest in the game we had finally gotten to guild rank 20 which got us our awesome cape emblems at long last and joined a cool alliance.

I have mentioned some of these issues before but I suppose things really started to untangle towards the beginning of the guild’s life when a relatively large group of our players who were all friends decided to part ways with our guild and form their own on Destruction side. This wasn’t really a politics thing and was relatively drama free but it was a huge blow to our player base and everyone knew it. We had also instated a recruitment freeze for fears of growing too big which turned out to bite us in the ass because of incidents like this one, along with other casual quitters and the people flooding back to World of Warcraft when Wraith of The Lich King was released.

Since before I joined I was aware that the guild had at least some intention of playing both Order and Destruction sides however it was always assumed and even sometimes stated that we wouldn’t explore the other side for quite sometime. When a few impatient people made the push over to Destruction, however, it took off with some surprising success. This resulted in a month or longer phase in which the few of us who remained dedicated to the Order side of things found ourselves playing alone and having to listen to anti-Order comments galore on the Vent server. This created an odd, unnecessary gap between some of the players and did nothing to help the few new recruits who trickled in around this time to stick around.

Eventually all of these issues were noted and Order once again became everyone’s primary focus as we, as a whole, proactively tried to do more to promote playing together and growing the guild. By this time, however, the dwindling populations in the game made recruiting quite difficult and new blood seemed almost impossible to find.

More and more people started to tire of the game and quit. Some talked about going to other games which was met but a rather unrealistic response of “Oh, well, if you’re going to play X then we’ll make an X channel on the Vent server and an X board on the forums!” as if it were that easy to effectively become a multi-game guild. I shuddered.

Finally, to seal the deal, the two main officers who run the guild (also two of the people I got along with the most sadly) hadn’t visited their own site in over a month. Of course people start noticing which caused even more people to hang up their hats or move elsewhere. At the moment that’s still where the guild stands – headless and slowly bleeding to death. It is to the point now where hitting our forums to check for new posts with hope to see the guild leader actually log on and reply to a thread or two is not only a waste of time but also rather depressing…

Farewall to WAR…

As I had mentioned before I’m pretty burnt out on Warhammer Online and MMOs in general for the time being. As I still haven’t felt any kind of resurgence in interest despite lots of cool announcements from the fellows over at Mythic I suppose I’m going to go ahead and cancel my account.

Frankly I’m sure I’ll return to WAR eventually and I’m definitely not saying adios to MMOs forever – I can’t. In fact I’m very interested in how Jumpgate: Evolution, Star Trek Online, The Old Republic, Global Agenda, Free Realms, and Champions Online amongst others all turn out.

One of my WAR specific issues is that it’s simply not a great solo game. Its PVE level treadmill is decent enough but hardly feels rewarding enough on its own. Public Quests are nifty but hardly compelling enough to justify sticking around and I don’t have enough time to do many other group activities even if there were more dungeons and/or raids in Warhammer. World PVP, for me, seemed to devolve into a bunch of repetitious running back and forth and combat that never really felt that fun or interesting, and I’ve already had my fill of the PVP scenarios.

I’ve come to a new realization after thinking about my recent experiences in WAR. Something I’d love to see, and I know I’ve said in that I’m more of an advocate of sandbox style MMOs, is an “theme park” type MMO that feels like more of a single player game – that’s rewarding when I play it solo in more ways than just the occasional whiff of the carrot on the end of the stick you get from normal treadmills. I know some of the above upcoming games, most notably The Old Republic, are making strides in that direction and I can’t wait to see how those efforts pan out.

Sadly enough I’m tempted to give Age of Conan, a second try. I’m resisting though – it hasn’t been enough time and not enough has changed (or at least appears that way from the patch notes) since I last played it to guarantee I’ll even notice the difference. Saldy enough I suppose the lack of updates was part of the reason I cancelled in the first place.

Anyway, here’s a final batch of older Warhammer screenshots:

My level 40 White Lion mugging it up for the camera.
“My level 40 White Lion mugging it up for the camera.”

Wait... my ride!
“Wait… my ride!”

One of my guild leveling pact group's early outing.
“One of my guild leveling pact group’s early outing.”

We eventually graduated to killing daemons.
“We eventually graduated to killing daemons.”

...and guarding objectives in PVP!
“…and guarding objectives in PVP!”

Power tanking with my Swordmaster and a Knight of the Blazing Sun.
“Power tanking with my Swordmaster and a Knight of the Blazing Sun.”

Taking a break from all of that grinding to pose. This could make a decent desktop wallpaper.
“Taking a break from all of that grinding to pose. This could make a decent desktop wallpaper.”


After beating Warhammer: Battle March I jumped right into my Xbox 360 backlog.

I decided to hit up something entirely different first and started Beautiful Katamari. I’m certainly familiar with the concept behind the Katamari games and indeed have tried them in very short bursts in the past but this is the first time I’ve actually tried to sit down and play through one. I don’t feel like I need to say much about the quirky characters, stylized art, bizarre, catchy music, or how it is all hilariously countered by the disturbing concept of “rolling up” living people, destroying cities, and even uprooting entire continents. The controls take a little getting used to which I’m sure is quite intentional but, even so, I found myself sucking at Beautiful Katamari lot more than I’d anticipated. I had to retry some stages several times before beating the required goals which doesn’t even guarantee you got a good score a long the way. The king is also a pretty big dick when you do any less than fantastic. Thanks Dad!

I blasted through the entire single player campaign in just a few sittings picking up an easy 245 achievement points along the way. Definitely a unique, enjoyable game but definitely not something I felt like I wanted to invest a lot of time into especially considering the size of my backlog though I admit I was definitely tempted to try to beat some of my more lackluster scores. If you are the type who wants to complete games 100% though Beautiful Katamari gives you plenty of goals to chase after – collecting hidden cousins and presents in levels and completing your collection of rolled up items as well as other achievements will have you playing for quite a few more hours. There’s also several additional DLC levels you can purchase as well which I’ve heard are pretty good.

Sure, don't worry about why I'm in cover guys, just stand there in the open.
“Sure, don’t worry about why I’m in cover guys, just stand there in the open.”

Next up was Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter 2. I’ve been a long time fan of the Ghost Recon series although the original Ghost Recon is quite clearly my favorite with all subsequent games taking different directions to try to break out of its hardcore niche into a more mainstream audience. I’m only about a third of the way through the single player campaign at the time of this post but so far GRAW2 definitely corrects some of the issues I had with the first GRAW: The campaign feels much shorter, with less drug out and strung along missions. The game as a whole feels a lot easier and, more importantly, less frustrating than the first one. Overall I’m having a lot more fun with GRAW2 than I did with GRAW as well – I’m not sure if this is because of some of the changes and the extra polish that it’s received or maybe just because it has been a while since I’ve played this kind of game. Regardless so far I’m considering replaying the whole thing on the hardest difficulty when this run is done with which is in stark contrast to GRAW’s single player campaign that I couldn’t wait to be done with by the time it was nearing the end.

My Warhammer Online burnout morphed into a general MMO burnout after taking a very quick hop around space on my Eve Online account thanks to a free reactivation promotion. I was quickly reminded of why I quit the game and, more importantly, if I wanted to get the most out of hopping back into it I’d have to invest way more time than I currently have running around with a corporation (Eve’s equivalent of a guild or a clan) and the like. Besides that I’d simply rather be playing other games than any particular MMO right now. There are certainly some interesting looking ones on the horizon, such as Jumpgate: Evolution though. It may take one of them to get me back in the fold after I finally decide to cancel my WAR account.

Please forgive the horrible photograph of GRAW2. This is the first time I’ve actually posted a photo of a 360 game despite being tempted many times before. It’s better than nothing, perhaps? I definitely prefer posting my own screenshots over stealing someone else’s in any case.