BioWare Does Free To Play With Warhammer Online Spinoff

BioWare Does Free To Play With Warhammer Online Spinoff

Shifting two paradigms at once, EA and BioWare have announced Warhammer Online: Wrath Of Heroes, a free to play spinoff of the titular Warhammer MMO.

The PC game (which is currently accepting beta applications and is scheduled for release "this autumn") is "a three-team, 18-player arena combat game," according to an Edge report.

Warhammer Online: Wrath of Heroes will be released under EA's Play4Free label, and as the name would suggest, it will be free to play.

"We're thrilled to expand our audience and deliver BioWare's first Play4Free title with Wrath of Heroes. PvP combat is without a doubt one of the most compelling experiences online. We've distilled down the essentials of that conflict -- and delivered it with force," said BioWare co-founder Ray Muzyka.

Normally I'm hesitant when it comes to these sorts of free to play schemes -- the majority smack of "we failed in our prior business model, so let's try this new idea" -- but this particular concept seems quite clever. By offering gamers a hint of what Warhammer Online is all about via its excellent PvP combat, the company is able to attract players who might otherwise never consider spending the monthly subscription fee for an MMO, while at the same time not throwing the entire game to the masses in a desperate bid to garner attention.

It's almost a coy flirtation, if one is willing to ascribe the dynamics of a stereotypical romance to the gaming industry. BioWare is batting its non-existent eyelashes in our direction, so while we can be assured that there is imminent sexy time, nobody can paint a bright red "A" across the company's chest.

Admittedly, that analogy went in a weird direction at the end, but I think you all see what I'm getting at. Clever move BioWare. You'll make a fine wife someday.

Source: Warhammer Online: Wrath of Heroes, via Edge

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"Welcome to the world of Warhammer Online: Wrath of Heroes where the war is fought on not one, not two, but three fronts."

Why couldn't they have just figured this out with the original Warhammer Online... Mythic, biggest disappointment in gaming. You make me sad face.

This doesn't really sound like my kind of game and I don't have anything more to comment, but I do want to say this... The next MMO to come out with three faction PvP will dominate... Guild Wars 2, I'm looking in your direction.

EdwardOrchard:
"Welcome to the world of Warhammer Online: Wrath of Heroes where the war is fought on not one, not two, but three fronts."

Why couldn't they have just figured this out with the original Warhammer Online... Mythic, biggest disappointment in gaming. You make me sad face.

This doesn't really sound like my kind of game and I don't have anything more to comment, but I do want to say this... The next MMO to come out with three faction PvP will dominate... Guild Wars 2, I'm looking in your direction.

I'm inclined to agree here.

A lot of people (myself included) have said that there hasn't been any decent PvP in an MMO since DAoC and that was a 3 faction MMO.

Does this mean that this will be the end of PvE MMORPGs being ruined by trying to balance the PvE class mechanics with the shoe-horned in PvP side of the game?

PvP in an MMORPG has never been balanced due to the lack of standardisation of gear quality between the players. The only way it could be balance was to make all participants be equal in power respectively; by having a completely isolated game. Skill should have been the only factor in PvP not gear.

The DotA model does seem to be an increasingly popular model for arena-style RPGish deathmatch games. Blizzard, take note.

It is disappointing that Warhammer Online wasn't succesful with regards to PvP (RvR). They got so many significant things wrong:

1) Rank (Level) 32 players can queue up to RvR Scenarios (Battlegrounds) against Rank 40, Renown Rank 80 [potentially] (the end-game leveling system with regards to PvP). Meaning leveling up characters will battle against max level characters with *good* quality farmed gear. Not only a level gap, but a significant gear gap as well between the two. It meant the side with the most un-level 40s lost.

2) Server population imbalance. Unavoidable intially, but in a realm with realm PvP, if one faction has a more bountiful population than the other, then generally it means they'll have a significant advantage in world PvP. It means the Zerg wins.
On the flip side, in controlled PvP like Scenarios where there's a maxium capacity for number of paticipants on either side, the lower population faction has the bigger advantage due to the likely hood of members from the "Super Awsome Guild" on that faction getting in is higher than the larger population.

3) You gained a large boost of experience/renown by securing an area. You achieved this by a combination of things; controlling strategic point, enemy team kills, public quests completed, at one point the previous state of zone control in the previous level tier of rvr content. Often, you reached the point where all available points were controlled and you have the most PvE contribution you can have. What's left is the boring grind of killing enemy heroes. As a result, 75% of the playerbase will AFK in the 'warcamp' (the boundary outpost that connects your faction's PvE area and the RvR 'lake' [zone]). They will gain the bonus when the zone is secured because they took part in the capture of some places. It's annoying as they're leaching while other players are defending the zone. It's demoralizing. It encourages you to not actively play the game.

4) As mentioned in 3), most RvR world battles ends up with grinding enemy hero kills.

5) In the unlikely event of the faction with least players actually resisting the zerg onslaught, a vast majority of players from the most populated faction will give up and AFK in the Warcamp. Making the fight alot more fair number-wise but not skillwise as usually the players resisting are skilled organised guilds. It's like 300 with the 300 Spartans against the Persians.

6) Fortresses are either very easily defended or easily over-run. What's common is that it's bloody boring breaking down the door. You can speed things up by using Siege equipment but they're fragile and cost currency. Most players understandabley don't want to dip into their own pockets for the sake of random players whom never repay the favour.

7) The ultimate aim of the RvR in WAR was to secure 2/3 of the end game zone strip and then assault the city. If 4) and 5) occure this will never happen and it's boring and anticlimatic. If something does happen, then you are called to attack/defend the enemy City. Not only do problems 1) and 2) happen due to the city defence/attack is a Scenario, the game has a hobby of plonky Guild premades in with randomers. So, you may spend all day helping push the enemy back into their city with ease. But then you get massively stopped in the actual siege. Extremely disheartening.

That is as much as I can recall why Warhammer failed with regards to their RvR system. A combination of mechanics and human psychology of laziness.

Be always wary about how a game gets to be "free to play" until you know what the microtransaction system IS. I know of at least one online FPS that is "Free to play" but requires you buy the BULLETS.

Not G. Ivingname:
Be always wary about how a game gets to be "free to play" until you know what the microtransaction system IS. I know of at least one online FPS that is "Free to play" but requires you buy the BULLETS.

Is it a Paintball FPS?

Sir Ollie:

Not G. Ivingname:
Be always wary about how a game gets to be "free to play" until you know what the microtransaction system IS. I know of at least one online FPS that is "Free to play" but requires you buy the BULLETS.

Is it a Paintball FPS?

Not sure, don't remember much about it :/

EdwardOrchard:
"Welcome to the world of Warhammer Online: Wrath of Heroes where the war is fought on not one, not two, but three fronts."

Why couldn't they have just figured this out with the original Warhammer Online... Mythic, biggest disappointment in gaming. You make me sad face.

This doesn't really sound like my kind of game and I don't have anything more to comment, but I do want to say this... The next MMO to come out with three faction PvP will dominate... Guild Wars 2, I'm looking in your direction.

Keep in mind, this is Mythic.

BioWare and Mythic merged a while ago and the Mythic we know today is now BioWare Virginia.

Not G. Ivingname:
Be always wary about how a game gets to be "free to play" until you know what the microtransaction system IS. I know of at least one online FPS that is "Free to play" but requires you buy the BULLETS.

This. "Free-to-Play" tends to mean "Free-to-play unless you want to have fun/be effective in any way."

Needs Lizardmen to get my interest.

EA trying to lure in customers into a game that is admitedly on bare minimum live support?

Seems Games workshop wont let EA just shut the damn thing down and now EA is trying to get some more money out of the expensive IP they brought onboard when they aquired Mythic.

But i doubt it will do much to revitalize Warhammer online or make EA spend more then live support on it so im not that thrilled.

Warhammer online had also massive problems with class balancing and mythic made some mind boggling balance changes that allways threw class balance another way with each patch, wich makes me wonder if we will have burning wizards rule that game or these dark elf witch berserkers... or perhaps the chaos choosen or witch hunters? Wichever it is i highly doubt they will get the balance right this time either.

 

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