Warhammer Online Goes Out in "One Last Big WAAAGH!"

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Warhammer Online Goes Out in "One Last Big WAAAGH!"

The MMO goes fully F2P for one last hurrah before closing for good.

Now that games exist in electronic states of flux, reports of them closing down happen as regularly as celebrity obituaries. Unlike aging stars, games get to announce their deaths in advance, which allows them to whip up a good and proper party before going dark. On its fifth anniversary, EA Mythic announced the impending death of Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning. A game based around a world of violence will not simply go quiet into the night. Instead, it's opening up the doors to previous players, becoming truly free-to-play and partying until the apocalypse comes.

Previously, Warhammer Online used the more restrictive "unlimited trial" model, rather than some sort of F2P monetization. However, that will all vanish for the next few weeks. Effective immediately, any account, past or present, will be welcomed back with full access. "We will be adding new NPC's to the game in order to power up your characters as well as other unique experiences for everyone to enjoy as we say goodbye to Warhammer Online over the next few weeks," EA Mythic proclaims, "So please join us and help say goodbye to Warhammer Online in one last big WAAAGH!"

If you're an MMO tourist who wants to wander through WAR's battlefields for the first and last time, you're out of luck, as the system to set up new accounts as been disabled. This will be a wake for veterans only. Meanwhile, the party will last until both Order and Chaos gods alike are consumed by darkness on December 18th.

Source: EA Mythic

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This is pretty much the best way they could have ended this game with the shutdown... It's a pity that it never truly took off but I guess that is what you get when you have a tumor like WoW in the industry.

I'm tempted to throw it back on and see how my white lion is doing. It was a game with a lot of potential but they just released it too soon and before a wow expansion.

Worgen:
I'm tempted to throw it back on and see how my white lion is doing. It was a game with a lot of potential but they just released it too soon and before a wow expansion.

If anything they should have pushed out the 20K MMO, at least that way the wouldn't have been competing as much with the fantasy MMO market, not to mention that more people seem to know the 20K universe on account of all those smashing games Relic and kin did as opposed to the mediocre lot based on the Warhammer Fantasy setting.

Although, the 20K MMO is still in the works apparently, so hope that'll be good.

It's a bloody shame they aren't allowing for new accounts, considering not everyone who has played the game in the past may actually remember theirs. I guess that means I'll need to figure that out now...

Also a bloody shame to see this go. Its really the only game I enjoyed the PvP in. Actual character collision in PvP gave anything that wasn't DPS a reason to do it, Tanks had skills that worked much like they do in Guild Wars 1, where there is a PvP and PvE version. And it also had some really fun mechanics with a few classes as well. I'll say it now, Warhammer made me want to be a healer (Goblin healer on the chaos side, mind you) as much as I wanted to just wreck stuff as dps.

Too bad they couldn't at least try the F2P system, but EA is pretty friggin stupid when it comes to that, as we've seen with Star Wars. They only go F2P if there's enough of the UI that they can lock behind the paywall, as well as class/race choices and everything else. Obviously Warhammer didn't have enough of that to make it 'viable'.

WAR should be a cautionary tale for everyone in the industry looking to make an MMO. WAR, SWG, Lego Universe, Matrix Online, etc. MMO's are no place to be playing around with 3rd party IP's. There is no business win at the end of the road. You will never achieve the expectations of the original IP holders fans, they radically escalate the costs of the game to no real benefit in returns beyond some small spark of initial interest (that evaporates after 30-60 days) and you utterly limit yourself ultimately to the point of license renewal.The business case is horrible. Yet stupid developers and publishers keep trying it.

GothmogII:

Worgen:
I'm tempted to throw it back on and see how my white lion is doing. It was a game with a lot of potential but they just released it too soon and before a wow expansion.

If anything they should have pushed out the 20K MMO, at least that way the wouldn't have been competing as much with the fantasy MMO market, not to mention that more people seem to know the 20K universe on account of all those smashing games Relic and kin did as opposed to the mediocre lot based on the Warhammer Fantasy setting.

Although, the 20K MMO is still in the works apparently, so hope that'll be good.

I think you mean the 40k mmo. Anyway, it was being released by THQ and ended up getting axed when they went under, they tried changing it to a single player game but THQ went down too quick for it to be released. I think all assets had to be destroyed since it was someone else's IP.

Worgen:
I think you mean the 40k mmo. Anyway, it was being released by THQ and ended up getting axed when they went under, they tried changing it to a single player game but THQ went down too quick for it to be released. I think all assets had to be destroyed since it was someone else's IP.

I think he's talking about http://www.eternalcrusade.com/# which appears to be a completely separate project.

cursedseishi:

Also a bloody shame to see this go. Its really the only game I enjoyed the PvP in. Actual character collision in PvP gave anything that wasn't DPS a reason to do it...

Yeah it was nice being able to make an actual shield wall at choke points and not have the other team just walk right through you. Rogues not being able to walk through you to stab you in the back is also nice.

I almost want to fire up the old account, but downloading 25 gigs worth of data doesn't seem like a good time.

That being said... I kinda regret getting the collector's edition of this game.

faefrost:
WAR should be a cautionary tale for everyone in the industry looking to make an MMO. WAR, SWG, Lego Universe, Matrix Online, etc. MMO's are no place to be playing around with 3rd party IP's. There is no business win at the end of the road. You will never achieve the expectations of the original IP holders fans, they radically escalate the costs of the game to no real benefit in returns beyond some small spark of initial interest (that evaporates after 30-60 days) and you utterly limit yourself ultimately to the point of license renewal.The business case is horrible. Yet stupid developers and publishers keep trying it.

I'd argue that while it would cost more do to the inherent cost of getting the rights to the IP, there isn't a reason not to. Nor is there a reason to call developers and publishers "stupid" for wanting to do so. The Matrix Online, especially, was actually being worked on by the Wachowski (I believe I spelled that right) brothers alongside the studio. Which, in case you didn't realize it, meant the IP holders were more invested in the idea of an MMO than the others, you could argue.

It comes down to actually putting work into it. Star Wars Galaxies, which you brought up, floundered most when SoE decided to rip the guts, quite literally, out of the game and shove in World of Warcraft. Warhammer Online has the distinct pleasure of being an IP owned by Games Workshop, who can be tad more of an arse with their IPs than any others.

And frankly, you're argument about "not reaching expectations" applies to all MMOs, to think it doesn't otherwise is naive at best. The same applies to the "interest evaporates after 30-60 days" comment. It's typical of ALL MMOs of the subscription variety, its the Free Month Effect.

Man, the PvP was a good idea, slowly integrate players from fighting NPC's into actually fighting other players.

The real downside of it was the setting, Warhammer looked and felt like a WoW clone. now had they went the path of 40k, then there would of been more room for content and mechanics.

I remember finding a open world 'event' that anyone passing by could help with and farmed it for a few minutes. Even then it was boring but that was near the initial launch, so it could of changed by then.

But a real regret was not playing through to the end game pvp areas, and I dont think 25 gigs of data would be worth it for a game about to be shuttered.

*engage snob mode*
this was one of those games i never enjoyed because it just wasn't as good as DAoC and because the funny british man with the silly glasses lied to me.
*disengage snib mode*

I'm going to say this one more time, perhaps a hundred times, even a million times, every time I hear a MMO is going to close:

Release the server code.

If you would just make the server code available, your MMO, while now unsupported, would last much longer, and quite possibly could show the rest of the MMO development world that breaking this absolutely ridiculous taboo where private servers is a terrible, terrible thing to have for a MMO because it "defeats its own purpose" is completely ungrounded and is none whatsoever damaging to a game or its members. That is, if it is handled correctly, and even then sometimes letting the players make the rules causes very interesting events and stories to come out of a game, which is similar to EVE's setup.

I played this in Beta and at launch, and it was alright. The world event groups were an interesting addition, but the imbalances in PvP were a glaring flaw and the fact that it played pretty much like a Warhammer version of WoW pretty much put the nail in the coffin (anytime I hear or use that phrase I still hear the old school NBA Jam announcer's voice).
Good concept, poor execution. Still its sad to see it go because I did have fun during my limited play. I still feel that any MMO worth its weight should just follow Guild Wars' example and go pay once play forever.

Lawyer105:

Worgen:
I think you mean the 40k mmo. Anyway, it was being released by THQ and ended up getting axed when they went under, they tried changing it to a single player game but THQ went down too quick for it to be released. I think all assets had to be destroyed since it was someone else's IP.

I think he's talking about http://www.eternalcrusade.com/# which appears to be a completely separate project.

Aye, but whoops, did mean to say 40K x) Actually, they have very little info. on Eternal Crusade, but it does look interesting, they're apparently going to go the Guilds Wars method of payment, you buy the box and just play no messing with subscriptions, although they'll (according to the FAQ anyway) have a F2P mode and a cash store.

Two years away at present.

Meh, this game had some good ideas, but was a mess. It's a big part of why I was less than excited to hear that EA was putting people from Mythic on "The Old Republic". Simply put game balance was a mess, the so called forces of order were getting steamrolled when I played due to how overpowered chaos was despite the attempts to "mirror" things. Chaos also outnumbered the Order side, which is a big deal in a game where numbers can have such as big an impact as well, which was a problem that should have been noticed when they had that "Road to WAR" event pre-launch.

It's also one of those cases where the guys doing the game simply did not listen to the critics in beta, like happens with a lot of MMOs. In a lot of cases when I'm in Betas, especially closed betas, you have people who will spell out exactly what the problems with a game's design are. Rather than listening, the "toxic" elements are ignored, the game plugs along, gets released, and then comes to a bad end, probably after a mixed reception. WAR was one of those games.

Indeed this is one of the reasons why I knock the corporate mentality, and hold devs just as accountable as the publishers. The devs in many cases should have known better. Surprisingly it seems to be a common defense that the games "Tested well among focus groups". Honestly I've long wondered who exactly is on some of these focus groups and what they are shown, because oftentimes it doesn't match the reality of what's going on in beta... at least for a lot
of games.

It's sort of like how "The Secret World" has been viewed as something of a failure (despite being a game I personally really like). It got some pretty positive responses in beta when I was there, but also because it was supposedly being released as a niche title. Had anyone ever mentioned they planned this to be some major blockbuster the way they hoped Age Of Conan was going to go over (and never did) it would have been pretty obvious to all involved that the game as it was, would never succeed on that level.

Dr.Awkward:
I'm going to say this one more time, perhaps a hundred times, even a million times, every time I hear a MMO is going to close:

Release the server code.

Never going to happen with a third party owned IP, Games Workshop would personally litigate everyone involved to death before they allowed the Warhammer name to be attached to something they could no longer charge for.

Also, given EA's scorched earth attitude to turning off multiplayer games (seriously, the last games of theirs I remember being 'set loose' to the players were BF2 and 2142, that was in 2009!) I doubt very much that they would allow their product out into the wild for free.

It's my biggest dislike of MMOs and any game tied to an always online system (like bf3/4/all console games), it's separating your ability to play from your desire and handing control to the publisher, who will only allow you to play as long as they feel it monetarily worthwhile.

But hey, it could be worse, it could be a massive royalties dodge like when NCSoft killed Tabula Rasa.

Dr.Awkward:
I'm going to say this one more time, perhaps a hundred times, even a million times, every time I hear a MMO is going to close:

Release the server code.

If you would just make the server code available, your MMO, while now unsupported, would last much longer, and quite possibly could show the rest of the MMO development world that breaking this absolutely ridiculous taboo where private servers is a terrible, terrible thing to have for a MMO because it "defeats its own purpose" is completely ungrounded and is none whatsoever damaging to a game or its members. That is, if it is handled correctly, and even then sometimes letting the players make the rules causes very interesting events and stories to come out of a game, which is similar to EVE's setup.

Soooo I am NOT a big MMO person, I just do not like them.

And I am now realizing that may be because of this. I don't like the idea of losing my stuff in the long term. On a similar but not great comparison, this is why I couldn't play minecraft with my friends until we had our own server running that we could control. All that work could be lost at any moment.

MMO's really need to do that in the future to become successful ._. that IS the key isn't it?
I mean look at minecraft, in all reality anyone still playing that game is playing with their friends on servers. Not some giant set of Mojang hosted servers, but privately owned ones. And the game is a nonstop growing success.

Now I know the two are monetarily different in a HUGE way, but keeping people playing and wanting to play your game is really the only way to be monetarily successful at all....sooooo yea wow, MMO's of the future need to do that.....I mean NEED to, especially when they think they are losing everything and just gonna shut it down. KEEP the fan base, and lose some money to make more money in the long term.

I can't wait for the infinitely large download to finish, I'm going play the hell out of this game until the bitter end, it was my favourite MMORPG, although I'm in a minority there.

You weren't my favorite MMO Warhammer... but you were better than a lot of them out there.

It was a really fun experience for the few months I played it, glad to see it gets to have an end worthy of its unique spirit.

Here's to you kid.

I know this is Warhammer Fantasy, but it'd be just too epic if on december 18th the Imperial Inquisition launches a full scale exterminatus. :D

Chaosritter:
I know this is Warhammer Fantasy, but it'd be just too epic if on december 18th the Imperial Inquisition launches a full scale exterminatus. :D

I doubt it, GW removed all but the most vague references to the 40k universe from the Fantasy fluff.

But it would be a glorious ending.

I would, but the game was so rubbish when I gave it a shot that I've forgotten the username and password entirely. Not to mention, going F2P at this point is another case of too little, too late. This game have suffered from too little, too late from the very start, poor thing... I do hope the better of their ideas lives on through other MMOs, though.

I am worried that this is the last we'll see of Mr. Warhammer: Fantasy, though... While we're slowly drowning in bucket after bucket of Warhammer: 40K paste.

40K's slightly more stable brother ought to be given a more fair chance of his own now and then, is all I ask.

You know, Warhammer Fantasy was a big part of my life growing up. I began with Wood Elves at the age of 10 and over 11 years until I finally packed it in, I owned a High Elf army, an Empire army and a Beastmen force. I think I spent around 2000 on this hobby over that time, every birthday it was straight down to Game's Workshop to blow it away on plastic and lead. Same for all of my friends.

I always wanted to try out this game. However everything I read repeated that it was a lesser WoW clone, like so many other failed MMO projects in the 6 years after WoW's launch. As someone who played WoW and found it lacking and honestly feels like it did enormous harm to the genre, I couldn't bring myself to fork out more money into Game's Workshop's hands. If I had any other way in, for example truly free to play with cosmetic micro-transactions... I would of played this game.

I agree with above posters, why destroy this and all that work of both developers and players alike, release the servers to your players and let it live on. Unfortunately I'm not so naive as to believe this will actually happen.

Ed130:

Chaosritter:
I know this is Warhammer Fantasy, but it'd be just too epic if on december 18th the Imperial Inquisition launches a full scale exterminatus. :D

I doubt it, GW removed all but the most vague references to the 40k universe from the Fantasy fluff.

But it would be a glorious ending.

Glorious does not do it justice. The Warhammer setting has always been about the heroic deeds of individuals in the face of insanely powerful opposition; to stand defiant against assault and temptation even as hope crumbles away around your feet. Elves, Dwarves and Humans all fought a losing battle from the start; their enemies were more numerous, more insidious, and had far greater reach than any of them could ever hope for. Whilst they continue to resist to the very end, the forces of Order are doomed to have ultimately been worn down, reduced to a few small holdouts that slowly dwindled away or roared their final fury to the last second. For any hope to exist, there needs to be a game changer.

Exterminatus is considered by those of us who exist outside of the setting to be a bitter ending, and in many respects it is. The loss of a planet, a strategic resource, a billion souls, and a home. However, what we forget is that this option is to be taken only when everything is already stolen, and all is firmly clutched to the enemy's bosom. It is a final, desperate gambit, to sacrifice all that a planet is and will be to prevent the suffering of others many light years away.

I imagine the final days of the Warhammer World to be bitter for those who chose to resist. Fighting would be constant, and every day would leave many dead, and many more lost to madness as they struggle to defend what small patches of earth still belong to them. I would like to believe that as the unknowable ships clustered above, that someone held enough of a vantage point and enough sanity to see the vast writhing hordes of Chaos burn in the heat of the firestorms, and take solace in the knowledge that whilst they might lose their lives, the thieves who came to take their land and souls would leave that plane empty handed; denying the Dark Gods their playground and instead granting them a dry, charred orb in which their insane minds must find consolation. By denying the prize at the last second, an Exterminatus would bring a final humiliation to Chaos that would hold no peer.

Moloch Sacrifice:
Glorious does not do it justice. The Warhammer setting has always been about the heroic deeds of individuals in the face of insanely powerful opposition; to stand defiant against assault and temptation even as hope crumbles away around your feet. Elves, Dwarves and Humans all fought a losing battle from the start; their enemies were more numerous, more insidious, and had far greater reach than any of them could ever hope for. Whilst they continue to resist to the very end, the forces of Order are doomed to have ultimately been worn down, reduced to a few small holdouts that slowly dwindled away or roared their final fury to the last second. For any hope to exist, there needs to be a game changer.

Exterminatus is considered by those of us who exist outside of the setting to be a bitter ending, and in many respects it is. The loss of a planet, a strategic resource, a billion souls, and a home. However, what we forget is that this option is to be taken only when everything is already stolen, and all is firmly clutched to the enemy's bosom. It is a final, desperate gambit, to sacrifice all that a planet is and will be to prevent the suffering of others many light years away.

I imagine the final days of the Warhammer World to be bitter for those who chose to resist. Fighting would be constant, and every day would leave many dead, and many more lost to madness as they struggle to defend what small patches of earth still belong to them. I would like to believe that as the unknowable ships clustered above, that someone held enough of a vantage point and enough sanity to see the vast writhing hordes of Chaos burn in the heat of the firestorms, and take solace in the knowledge that whilst they might lose their lives, the thieves who came to take their land and souls would leave that plane empty handed; denying the Dark Gods their playground and instead granting them a dry, charred orb in which their insane minds must find consolation. By denying the prize at the last second, an Exterminatus would bring a final humiliation to Chaos that would hold no peer.

Can I nominate this for post of the frickin' year? I almost teared up reading that, I swear to Zeus.

Beautiful. Stunning. Burn in fiery wrath, Chaos.

AldUK:

Moloch Sacrifice:
Glorious does not do it justice. The Warhammer setting has always been about the heroic deeds of individuals in the face of insanely powerful opposition; to stand defiant against assault and temptation even as hope crumbles away around your feet. Elves, Dwarves and Humans all fought a losing battle from the start; their enemies were more numerous, more insidious, and had far greater reach than any of them could ever hope for. Whilst they continue to resist to the very end, the forces of Order are doomed to have ultimately been worn down, reduced to a few small holdouts that slowly dwindled away or roared their final fury to the last second. For any hope to exist, there needs to be a game changer.

Exterminatus is considered by those of us who exist outside of the setting to be a bitter ending, and in many respects it is. The loss of a planet, a strategic resource, a billion souls, and a home. However, what we forget is that this option is to be taken only when everything is already stolen, and all is firmly clutched to the enemy's bosom. It is a final, desperate gambit, to sacrifice all that a planet is and will be to prevent the suffering of others many light years away.

I imagine the final days of the Warhammer World to be bitter for those who chose to resist. Fighting would be constant, and every day would leave many dead, and many more lost to madness as they struggle to defend what small patches of earth still belong to them. I would like to believe that as the unknowable ships clustered above, that someone held enough of a vantage point and enough sanity to see the vast writhing hordes of Chaos burn in the heat of the firestorms, and take solace in the knowledge that whilst they might lose their lives, the thieves who came to take their land and souls would leave that plane empty handed; denying the Dark Gods their playground and instead granting them a dry, charred orb in which their insane minds must find consolation. By denying the prize at the last second, an Exterminatus would bring a final humiliation to Chaos that would hold no peer.

Can I nominate this for post of the frickin' year? I almost teared up reading that, I swear to Zeus.

Beautiful. Stunning. Burn in fiery wrath, Chaos.

I don't know about all that. While its true that the denizens of the planet get one last "screw you" before the planet falls. The truth of the matter is no one knows what will happen. You can go through many a 40K book and find that small squads of space marines or even something as low as imperial guardsman can occasionally turn a battle around. I know the warhammer universe is all about the never ending harsh conditions of war but destroying a planet the forces of chaos have taken still seems like letting them win. And entire world and all of its resources and denizens have been wiped from existence, they are never coming back and the world is a husk. You keep destroying planets and eventually youll find that you running out of homes while Chaos laughs its ass off in the warp, and come on now, lets not even get started on the fact that while the planet is now inhabitable to humans, other races like necrons can have a giggle there.

My fondest memory of this game, from the brief time I had with it, was with my small goblin character. I was given a quest which to me stands among the most original, brilliant and hilariously fun that I've ever encountered in a game, online or off. I was tasked with getting dwarves drunk so that they passed out asleep. Once unconscious, I collected their sleeping forms and moved to the top of their fort where I put them in barrels and rolled them over a waterfall.

I like the way PvP and PvE levelled separately and how they joined PvP open quest zones into the world at large. It was just a shame that there weren't any players against whom to compete in these areas. Mid-levels, odd hours, instanced zones (I think?) all came together to mean that unless opposing players happened to be at the same level and point in their storylines, you'd wander the entire zone alone, unable to complete any objectives requiring defeating opposing players.

I want to try it but I have no idea what my account name, password or even the email address I used are.
So no WAR for me I guess.

Bought this game around 2008, or something, and really wanted to love it. However, I was after a PvE experience, so all I came across was empty zones that quickly became way to hard for me to solo. For example it took a full minute for my Warrior Priest to kill an enemy around level 15. During that minute the mob I had killed before had spawned again and was hitting my back. Could never progress anywhere with him.
Eventually attempted some PvP and thought it was tons of fun, though the exp gain was way too low and my side constantly seemed to be the losers which made me despise it. Left with neither PvE nor PvE there was nothing left to do.

Ugh, I don't know. Would be fun to check it out again, but I got a feeling it would just be a waste of time.

Jynthor:
I want to try it but I have no idea what my account name, password or even the email address I used are.
So no WAR for me I guess.

Make a new one?

Kalezian:

The real downside of it was the setting, Warhammer looked and felt like a WoW clone. now had they went the path of 40k, then there would of been more room for content and mechanics.

I think one of the biggest problems of WAR was that it didn't fit with the setting. Warhammer Fantasy is actually very unique, since it's essentially the Renaissance Holy Roman Empire in a fantasy world, surrounded by a bunch of other twisted versions of historical places. WAR warped the aesthetic from almost historical art and design to the WoW-esque aesthetic. And it's a damn shame.

Drizzitdude:

AldUK:

Moloch Sacrifice:
huge frickin' snip

Can I nominate this for post of the frickin' year? I almost teared up reading that, I swear to Zeus.

Beautiful. Stunning. Burn in fiery wrath, Chaos.

I don't know about all that. While its true that the denizens of the planet get one last "screw you" before the planet falls. The truth of the matter is no one knows what will happen. You can go through many a 40K book and find that small squads of space marines or even something as low as imperial guardsman can occasionally turn a battle around. I know the warhammer universe is all about the never ending harsh conditions of war but destroying a planet the forces of chaos have taken still seems like letting them win. And entire world and all of its resources and denizens have been wiped from existence, they are never coming back and the world is a husk. You keep destroying planets and eventually youll find that you running out of homes while Chaos laughs its ass off in the warp, and come on now, lets not even get started on the fact that while the planet is now inhabitable to humans, other races like necrons can have a giggle there.

I think you've made a faulty assumption about the nature of Chaos. Chaos is directly fed by the emotions and thoughts of mortals, and the Gods require this to sustain themselves. The entire motivation behind taking a planet is not to destroy, but to turn it into an insane farm of emotions, where the mortal experiences that feed the Gods (Anger, Hope, Despair and Pleasure, as well as minor emotions for minor entities) are concentrated and accentuated. If the planet is reduced to a withered husk, the insane breeding ground of emotion is destroyed along with all the mortals providing them, and what was once a valuable source of sustenance becomes a useless ball of rock.

No surpirse they decide to shut it down, but a bit of a shame :-/

I've had some pretty decent times with that game. It never sucked me in or tied me up the way WoW did, but I think that's partially why I enjoyed it. I remember me and a real life pal used to play heavy damage classes and hide behind pillars in the 20-30 PvP zones and pick off stragglers who had fallen behind the main group assaulting the keep, that's actually one of my fondest MMO memories. Like people have said, it was a game with a lot of potential and a lot of flaws, it got some things right, but not enough to achieve what it aspired to be. I might pop in one last time just to say goodbye.

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