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ZAM's "Return to War" Series Discussion and SuggestionsFollow

#1 Aug 11 2010 at 8:23 PM Rating: Excellent
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This is the thread for suggestions and discussion about ZAM's "Return to War" series. In addition to the regular feature stories in the series, we're lining up at least one Q&A with WAR executive producer Carrie Gouskos, so feel free to suggest questions that you'd like to see answered, or raise issues that you'd like to see addressed. You can also leave feedback or questions in the comments section of each story when it's published.

I'll try to link each part of the series here as soon as they're published, but you can also visit the news archive of our Warhammer Online portal site to access all the recent posts, or use the ReturnToWar news tag.

Cheers!

ZAM Returns to Warhammer Online: Part 1


Edited, Aug 13th 2010 12:28am by WaxPaper
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#2 Aug 24 2010 at 8:21 AM Rating: Good
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I'm still playing War. I never stopped once I started. The draw for me is the ability to advance my character, get the best gear, have some good fights, and accomplish something...all in 1/2 hour increments if I choose. Ok, I spend an hour doing city sieges for the top-o-the line gear I'm currently finishing up with.

So, that's it for me. I dont have to commit to 4 hour raid events to be involved with the end-game. Well that and the PVP:)

The game has not yet seen an expansion. The level cap is still 40 the renown rank cap is 80. The latest news announcement say the rr cap will be raised to 100. I want to know when the level cap will be raised. When will we be able to get some new skills/abilities/masteries?

Will the forts come back?

Most of all, anyone who has been playing this game can tell you that server population vs server stability is a real issue. Currently, there is only one server that sees fairly balanced well-populated game-play. Consequently everyone plays on this server. The server can't handle everyone and responds with frequent and random ctds, game-breaking lag, and stuff that just doesn't work.

The games stability has to be addressed before Mythic can even think about marketing this game for new subs.

Thanks Alla for covering the game again. Despite it's obvious deficiencies, it's the only game that has held my attention since I left EQ. Currently my plans are to play indefinitely.

Edited, Aug 24th 2010 4:25pm by Elinda
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#3 Aug 25 2010 at 8:04 PM Rating: Good
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I decided to edit this post as it wasn't contributing a lot to anything. Following is a modified copy-paste from my comment to the editorial written about Warhammer's future back in 2009.

One year has passed since this editorial, apparently, and the comments are shocking, to say the least.

SEforPrez mentions a trial download that wouldn't install. I downloaded the trial some weeks ago (August 2010) and it wouldn't install, forcing me to download the entire thing once more.

New or old bug that was never squished? I don't know, but it's horrible.

And after not having played this game for two years, having played World of Warcraft all that time, I finally re-subscribed, logged on and was immediately thrown out by a CTD (crash to desktop). Logging back in, I had to wait 20-30 seconds before the models would even load for the Order vs. Destruction selection screen so I can could select my faction.

Seriously, it should not take it half a minute to load six character models. And if so, it shouldn't begin loading the models once you click the Create button, it should load them while you're waiting for the server handshaking crap that takes way too long as well.

And don't get me started on the server-client lag. I had to move from a European server to a North American server to reduce the latency to playable levels(!). And now I'm facing another issue:

Open RvR and Scenarios are vital to the progression of your character in Warhammer Online. The Career Rank (character level) is capped at 40 with Renown Rank (PvP level) capped at 80. Most often your Renown Rank determines the level of gear you can wear, since this is a PvP-focused game. Doing the random Scenario and a bit of Open RvR while leveling through questing will put you way behind in Renown, however. At Career Rank 18, I'm still at Renown Rank 11, because once I finally get into a Scenario, we lose to a 50/50 Warrior Priest and Bright Wizard combo (I'm on Destruction side).

So to alleviate some of the issues with falling behind in Renown due to the low population, I moved my character to a more populated server: Badlands.

The issue now is that Mythic apparently never expected their servers to run at maximum capacity, because Badlands is breaking down and falling apart constantly, kicking players off the server, doing weird crashes and spitting out major latency as soon as more than 50 players are gathered near each other. Which is a Catch-22 issue in itself:

You design a game to revolve around massive battles between players. Unfortunately, gathering large amounts of players in one spot (like a battle) causes the server to crash, or the server-client ping time to reach critical levels. You see this and still incorporate a function (Collision Detection) that not only causes your hardware to /wrist, but also provides tremendous issues in the lag that only increases from the added strain put on the client software.

On top of all this delicious cake of fail, you add ignorant CSR (see below), idiotic developers and a community prone to the stance "I don't recognize your problem, so you're a ****** who needs to learn2play."

By ignorant CSR, I mean CSR who knows the end is coming and doesn't care anymore. For instance, the amount of hackers in the game (people who use 3rd party programs to alter the game data) is increasing and a moderator on the official forum said that it wasn't happening. When multiple players insisted on it happening, the moderator replied with (essentially) "This game features anti-hack functions, so it isn't a problem." Meaning, players are able to report hackers and the moderators might, or might not, give a ****.

I love the Warhammer universe and had hoped Warhammer Online would be my way out of the Warcraft grind (it's getting tiresome, I'll admit), but the amount of flaws still existing in this game puts it, in terms of quality, on a beta level, which is just not okay after two years.

Sort out the horrible server-client lag, optimize the engine so I can run the game in more than lowest settings on a quad core gaming PC, and most importantly, give a **** about your customers.

Until then, I'll go back to a game I can play without feeling like paying to beta test it.

The summary of issues in my long post of bile is:

  • Server-client lag making PvP unbearable
  • Hackers making PvP unbearable
  • Horrible hardware requirements that force players to play with crappy graphics
  • Catch-22 design flaw that ruins the game once people start to leave
  • Non-existing customer service

  • I have very little faith left in this game, but I hope that someone, somewhere, sometime will pick up the torch, light it and carry it away from Mythic's beaten and bloody remains. Warhammer is an exciting universe and it would be a shame if it didn't get to live on.

    Edited, Sep 10th 2010 3:24pm by Mazra
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    #4 Oct 29 2010 at 11:01 PM Rating: Decent
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    I too am out of patience with customer service. I have posted on the Warhammer Online forums looking for help, and mostly get snide answers, but when I post about bugs or technical issues, there is NEVER an answer. You can look yourself, the Technical forum has many, many posts, but I could not find a SINGLE answer in the last YEAR!

    If you ignore your customers, and refuse to help them fix problems, why don't you know why they are leaving the game?

    This is the only game I have ever enjoyed PvP on. The RvR, open groups, Public Quests, and easygoing way of joining the action make it the perfect fit for those without massive time to spend in game.

    But if the technical problems I keep having continue, I will stop playing.
    Necro Warning: This post occurred more than thirty days after the prior, and may be a necropost.
    #5 Nov 01 2010 at 9:37 AM Rating: Good
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    I'm back playing War again. I guess I'm hooked. The poor performance of the games owners/devs/managers was a big factor in deciding to quit. I guess they know people like me though will be back...regardless.

    Two weeks is typical response time for a CSR to get back with you if you submit a ticket in-game. As Mazra mentioned, Badland server stability is...well, was horrid. It was in it's peak of poor performance that I quit. It's better now...it is. Not perfect, but better.

    Despite all the requests from the community, over many days, for about "why" we continually get booted, there was not a lick of information disseminated. We were ignored. Worse yet, the community manager had audacity to blame it on the people that transferred servers.

    Someone employed by Mythic loves Warhammer and is making sure it keeps just enough funding to be viable, but man, they need some public relations help.




    Edited, Nov 1st 2010 5:37pm by Elinda
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    #6 Nov 12 2010 at 2:26 AM Rating: Decent
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    I was an original beta tester, preorder prerelease player and i left becuase a combination of wotlk and the game itself, after ff14 bombed i came back and i am not regretting that decision one bit
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    #7 Nov 25 2010 at 1:56 PM Rating: Decent
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    My last CSR Ticket only took about 12hrs wasnt too bad I have waited days sometimes for the WoW guys...maybe I was just lucky idk? My hope is that it may be getting alittle better.
    Elinda wrote:
    I'm back playing War again. I guess I'm hooked. The poor performance of the games owners/devs/managers was a big factor in deciding to quit. I guess they know people like me though will be back...regardless.

    Two weeks is typical response time for a CSR to get back with you if you submit a ticket in-game. As Mazra mentioned, Badland server stability is...well, was horrid. It was in it's peak of poor performance that I quit. It's better now...it is. Not perfect, but better.

    Despite all the requests from the community, over many days, for about "why" we continually get booted, there was not a lick of information disseminated. We were ignored. Worse yet, the community manager had audacity to blame it on the people that transferred servers.

    Someone employed by Mythic loves Warhammer and is making sure it keeps just enough funding to be viable, but man, they need some public relations help.




    Edited, Nov 1st 2010 5:37pm by Elinda

    #8 Nov 25 2010 at 2:24 PM Rating: Decent
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    In response to Mazra (Don't feel like wiriting as much but I will try to get some key points across) I downloaded the trial on multiple computers the other day and they all work great! Very short setup time because it loads most of it while you play, however if you have a real account it does not let you DL it as you play.

    I have yet to get a crash to Desktop sinc I have been back for more than a month which is very good. Loading of the characters does seem a tad longer than it should be however. Handshaking though is very fast with me.

    Sever-Client lag is NOT a problem on Iron Rock, yes it is a lower pop. but I have yet had problems to find action unless I am playing at around 3am (like I did last night haha).

    The new ORVR is fun though I feel T2-T3 Zone locks are pointless because they reset just so **** fast! Mythic really needs to rethink those reset timers...T4 is good though. I don't know what you were doing but I ALWAYS hit the RR cap on my toons far before they are about to level aside from 1-11 and go straight to PVE to fill the gap. I seem to level much faster than RvR when I mash out quests which is nice because I do like PvE too!
    I don't know how you can fall behind 7 RR unless you were doing some seriously long PvE periods.

    I have never played on Badlands so I don't know how the server runs there but like I said before Iron Rock runs great adn I have had battles with 100+ people in the same keep area! IT WAS A BLAST aside from being a lowbie in T4 MDPS who doesn't get to help out much, but with the new Aerial Bombers and Siege planted anywhere you can still find something to do to help.

    Not going into CSR because I haven't dealt with that besides one minor indecent which was resolved within 12hrs (could have been shorter because I logged out and they got me the next morning shortly after logging back in).

    The summary of my post is...

    -Iron Rock has no server lag in ORvR and can handle 100+ players and still runs fine...if anything you will see your computer start lagging first!

    -Keep hearing about hackers every time someone gets owned by a Witch Hunter...sorry guys they are not hacking. Just have seriously DPS when they are geared and get the jump on you. Have not seen any REAL hacking yet.

    -My computer is a few years behind and runs this game great! Only start to see lower FPS in MAJOR batttles which is still very much playable. (Is your computer from the ICEAGE?) Yes there is loading hicups after switching zones alot and trying to run out to the massive battles without letting the computer load everything. Just because you can see your character and move doesnt mean it has finished loading all the beautiful scenery in this game!

    -Not going to lie this game has flaws, bugs and minor to major glitches. This game IS HOWEVER VERY PLAYABLE AND A BLAST! If you don't like this game, I'm sorry this game is awesome and has some serious RvR. LtnLW = Learn to not love WoW (they brainwash you... hehe)

    In short, after coming back and having a blast I really saw what puts this game apart from the other MMORPGS. Then they released the patch on me and it's even better! Minor things to work out but I am glad to see that the game is still moving ahead (though slower due to player density and funding) and I am trying to enjoy everything in this game, not just RvR but also the PvE and Environment which I love.

    PS. MYTHIC we need a Dungeon group finding system so I can experience this the right way! Finding a group for a PVE is near impossible because PEOPLE (not mythics fault) do not want to take the time to bother with finding a group and get it going!


    #9 Jan 25 2011 at 2:15 AM Rating: Decent
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    I joined the WAR closed beta as one of the first players. That's not hubris, it's that excited feeling when you're logging into the beta server and there's six people playing alongside you, two who are clearly employees. Those six or seven on Order (back before /count was disabled. Q: what do you do when people complain that there's a faction imbalance? A: turn off the in-game command that allowed them to see that in the first place) grew into thousands.

    And with it the "beta experience" happened. The beta "forums" were a slapdashly installed PHPBB, even with the stock "donate to PHPbb" banner still up, no one seemed to care much. Content, on the other hand, was reigned over with the iron fist of someone truly afraid of their community. Little actual feedback was ever heard from the CMs and Devs, but many threats to terminate beta access if bugs were reported in the wrong format or outside of focus tests that focused on that bug (at which point it was already well known, but beta testers were asked to "confirm" them). Oh, and of course, any kind of meta report, discussion, or well designed theoryhammering of class mechanics was strictly verboten and could lead to banning.

    One time I reported a very problematic continuity issue that could bite quite a few Order players in the **** - in the forum thread designated for that Tier. A scant few hours later, I got a PM telling me I was to refrain from posting those issues since they're not current "focus", my post and comments on it ("yea, I got that, too") were deleted, and I was told that I risked a ban if I didn't "follow the rules". The bug was fixed later in live, only after many had run into it.

    We went live and I created two characters on Marienbad's Order side. The server was good as dead from day one, yet I soldiered on to 40, we had a nice guild going, and then the server was merged with forced transfers. That killed more than half the guild, many had issues transferring and left, others just re-rolled on Skull Throne or Iron Rock, the two monsters back then.

    WAR was fun, all things told. It was immersive, it had a great story, it was well thought out, and the RvR was fun, fun, fun. Crafting? PvE? Forget about it. Which, if you're like me and play in a guild full of adults who take time off to be with family and friends, meant that during those times when less than a full warband was online, our choices were to solo RvR (which meant getting creamed by pre-mades), or to play the same Public Quest over and over. Not to mention, scenarios got REALLY stale, as did keep takes and city sieges, after the 200th time.

    It was still fun to RvR, just the lack of change of scenery or actual content at rank 40 started to really get on people's nerves. There was no crafting to be done that hadn't. Questing? Three zones were available that wouldn't "chicken" (turn into a chicken for being in a lower zone as a higher player) on entrance, and those were quested empty and farmed stale.

    Bugs existed. Some were fun to look at, the first time, like mobs gliding 200ft in the air, others were annoying. And most everyone at 40 just stood at the Tier 1 RvR lake, botting back and forth, to gain Renown.

    Tier 1 and the new /advice channel became overrun by "Endless Trial" players, and for months nothing happened. T1 RvR turned into a slaughterfest of twinked-to-the-max Warrior Priests and Disciples on Endless Trial accounts, while T2 and 3 were deader than a dodo. T4, again, it was all about ten scenarios and keeping a few keeps, something the four big guilds divided amongst themselves.

    I cancelled my account when EAMythic started selling levels for real world cash. I just couldn't support that. When I left, the forums were already sluggish, the website almost always inaccessible. Today, I didn't even make it onto them - but if memory serves, a link to this very thread, posted in September last year, is the last thing on the "News" section of the site.

    Warhammer always felt like the great game that just became part of a huge portfolio. Left to be, minimal effort to maximize revenue, if it dies so be it, EA won't lose one of it's big hitters, but as long as it brings in a few bucks every month it's allowed to persist.

    A good friend who didn't understand why I didn't play more WoW, once asked me what my definition of a game worth playing is. Aside from entertainment, of course, it's the belief that I can go away for a month, come back, and see something new and exciting. And Warhammer, through all the ups and downs, stopped feeling that way when Slayers and Choppas hadn't even been around for that long.

    Edited, Jan 25th 2011 3:16am by *****
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    #10 Feb 23 2011 at 1:08 PM Rating: Good
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    bringerofruin wrote:
    -My computer is a few years behind and runs this game great! Only start to see lower FPS in MAJOR batttles which is still very much playable. (Is your computer from the ICEAGE?)


    No, it's not. I can run Crysis on Ultra settings, but if I turn on the best graphics in WAR, everything becomes a stutter. That's not a computer issue, it's an engine issue, one that many are complaining about. The game's engine just isn't designed to utilize multi-core processors and the handling of data is horrible.

    bringerofruin wrote:
    -Not going to lie this game has flaws, bugs and minor to major glitches. This game IS HOWEVER VERY PLAYABLE AND A BLAST! If you don't like this game, I'm sorry this game is awesome and has some serious RvR. LtnLW = Learn to not love WoW (they brainwash you... hehe)


    There's the "anti-WoW" attitude again. Yes, I've played World of Warcraft longer than Warhammer Online. Not because Blizzard has brainwashed me, but because they delivered a better product. I don't feel like paying for something that isn't fun to me. Once I'm bored with WoW, I'll quit that game as well.

    For now, though, Blizzard seems more interested in their customers than Mythic in theirs.

    If you're interested in reading something interesting, I suggest checking out this blog. Supposedly written and maintained by an ex-employee at Bioware Mythic. If it's not ********* it's a pretty interesting read into the reason why WAR turned out the way it did.
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    #11 Jun 10 2011 at 6:52 PM Rating: Good
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    SO WE MEET AGAIN FOR THE FIRST TIME.

    107 days. Its what I do.
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