Until recently Werit was the last one of the graduates of the Warhammer Online School of Blogging who was still playing and writing about WAR. He left and is now despondent over the future of the game.
It’s been about four years since I was blogging about WAR non-stop — that was over on WAAAGH! — and yet I still carry warm feelings about the game. Ultimately, it didn’t succeed to either be a firestorm PvP title or a mainstream PvE hit, for many reasons. But that first year ride of anticipating it, blogging about it, and finally playing it was a heady rush. There were many things I loved about WAR, which is why I’m sad to see it slumped over and limping toward the inevitable conclusion.
I don’t think there’s any hope for this title right now. I’m not saying that it’s irredeemable garbage, but that there’s no path forward remaining. I have no idea who’s even left on this project, as its last big name, Lead Developer Keaven Freeman, left in April, followed quickly by its CM. The company has eliminated the six-month subscription and hasn’t done anything productive for the game since a Return to Ekrund event this past January.
The obvious course of action would have been to convert WAR to a free-to-play title in order to get that nice boost of publicity, returning/new players, and (hopefully) influx of cash. But that opportunity seems to have passed by a while back, and one of Mythic’s bigwigs outright said that the cost of doing a conversion is too high and wouldn’t likely be recouped with the results.
Beyond just WAR, Mythic appears to be a mess. It’s lobbing these get-rich-quick Hail Mary schemes that aren’t panning out. It tried to jump on the MOBA train with Warhammer Online: Wrath of Heroes, and couldn’t keep that going long enough to even make it out of beta. Its latest enterprise is Ultima Forever, a mobile dungeon crawler that’s been getting raked over the coals for its aggressively bad monetization scheme (in short, your gear degrades so much that you end up either farming lowbie content to afford repairs or just pay real money to heal up).
So you have a studio that’s handling three aging MMO properties (UO, DAoC, WAR) and is not investing any serious time, money, or effort in bringing significant new content for any of those, but is instead pouring its resources into the latest fad in hopes that money woes will be solved.
It just feels like such a bad way for WAR to go out. The game had its initial issues and certainly didn’t live up to the lofty promises that the devs were making in 2008, but it’s a solid title that should’ve gotten a second lease on life with F2P. Instead, it’s wheezing and fading… and I think soon shall be gone.