Update: The post Paul emailed me regarding was “How Streamlining the MMO Experience Failed WAR“. Thanks for bringing that up Rorik!

I’ve been a little lax in checking the email account I keep for this blog lately, so imagine my surprise when I log in last night to find a message from Paul Barnett himself!

It was nothing groundbreaking you would all care about, and I’m not sure if it was anything he would like shared, so I’ll refrain from posting the content of the email here. Suffice it to say that despite the late hour I read the email, I found myself feeling both excited (a developer reads my blog? Wow!) and also a little bad.

My posts on WAR have been pretty critical of late, which is perhaps not giving full weight to my feelings about the game. I’ve shared them in comments across several other popular blogs but I think it’s only fair that I share them here too.

I’m not currently playing Warhammer Online. More than any other reason, this is because I usually play during the day when there’s usually less people on to oRvR with. As we all know, having large groups of other people to play with can really impact how much fun a player will have in the game. For me, my play time is a self-limiting factor that bars me from experiencing what many find to be the magnum opus of the game: oRvR. There are issues and things that don’t necessarily appeal to me but let me explain the other side of the coin too.

WAR has more potential than any other game on the market. That includes WoW. The systems they’ve put into the game, such as PQs and keep sieges, are poised to be genre pushing. Conceptually, WAR stands above any other title of its kind. Graphically, it’s already ahead of the pack (for those who enjoy stylization, of which I am one) and is ready to be scaled upward as time goes on.

I haven’t quit WAR. Not by any definition of the word. I’ve said from the beginning that I’m taking a break. As patches go in, the content gets updated, and the playerbase solidifies and grows, so too will what I’m able to experience and take away, and I’ll come back. When I played WAR, there was a lot I found fun and really just “hooked” me when I was doing it. Sure, there are things I don’t care for, such as crafting or the lack of fluff content, but this is personal preference and I don’t necessarily think I represent any kind of majority here.

So, I hope my recent posts haven’t pushed anyone towards thinking that WAR is a bad game. It’s not. Imagine a world where there was no WoW to compare to. In that world, a game like WAR would be remarkable. I think that sometimes we can all fall victim to the trap of unfair, and even unconscious, comparisons.
If you have issues with the state of WAR, don’t just quit. Give it a chance. Wait a while, keep an eye on what’s happening.

I don’t think that anyone can deny that Mythic has proved themselves to be one of the most dedicated teams out there. They’re constantly releasing updates and patches, and, perhaps most importantly, they’re about the most communicative group you could ever hope for. They talk, they listen, and they work with us.

Everything I’ve said here, I’ve said before and stand by it. I’ve been a little critical lately, perhaps in part due to my own fair share of blog reading, but it’s important everyone understands where I truly stand. The day I give up on WAR is the day I stop blogging about it and that’s not coming any time soon.

Author’s Note: Just to clarify, Paul emailed me to share his thoughts on one of my posts. He didn’t say anything to directly cause this entry. More than anything, it was the realization that the people who make the game read what I have to say and maybe I haven’t given their hard work a fair enough shake lately.