Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Off the Mark

Mark Jacobs outlined upcoming changes to Warhammer Online's open RvR game play. However, Mark simply missed the mark in regards to the true root of the problems plaguing WAR.

The first thing Mark needed to address in his outline was the performance issue. None of the features listed will mean a damn thing if the zones don't stop crashing and players can actually COMPLETE the end game objectives. Every single resource Mythic has needs to be focused on resolving this issue. I posted this thought on the VN WAR message boards, but the thread was locked. However, the last reply before the lock intrigued me.
So basically you want, the combat and career team, the web development team, the quest team, the gui team, and all the other various teams that work on WAR to sit around and look over the client/server/dba engineer teams shoulder while they work on performance?
Yes, every single development team needs to review their respective systems and determine what can be done to improve the performance of WAR. Without resolving this single issue, WAR will not survive long enough to see the other changes into fruition.

The second thing Mark needed to address was the fact that victory is impossible to achieve when enemy warcamps are placed within spitting distance of each other. Victory is important in a game designed around sieging an enemy city. Victory can not be had when the enemies are back on the battlefield seconds after being defeated. Stating that they are actively going to make it easier to get to the fight shows a fundamental flaw and a leaning towards an instant gratification strategy.

It's a double whammy. Mythic wants to encourage more people to get into open RvR and make it easier for them to get there, but they don't want to admit that their game's technical performance is not up to par. Yes, Mythic is probably working hard on resolving the performance glitches, but they need to shut up and admit the problem exists and dedicate every single resource to slaying the beast. Beating around the bush just pisses players off and we're leaving in droves because of it.

Mythic, WAR is UNPLAYABLE in it's current state. New features can not fix bad performance.

With that said, I'm glad they at least are planning new features and should they actually fix the performance problem, WAR will be a much better game. I just don't see the performance issue getting fixed any time soon.


  1. Anonymous8:17 PM

    I'm not having performance issues. WAR is doing just fine on my system. I feel the changes will be good for the game. But who am I to contest this? I'm just a gamer currently enjoying the game.

  2. I'm with ya my sometimes AOE grinding buddy. I want the core aspects of the game fixed before they worry about pushing more people into oRVR.

    The game becomes 'almost' unplayable even if your client doesn't crash. There's very little strategy when you're aimlessly auto-tabbing to target things and mashing buttons because you can't actually tell what the heck is going on because of the lag.

    And the player ghost images are just horrible. I noticed with the oRVR event last night that the volume and frequency of these ghosts increase with the number of players involved. Not good at all so let's not be pushing more people out to have this sort of experience. Performance is critical. If they can't fix that, it's just a mindless zerg.

  3. Depends on your gaming machine I think. I never had performance issues playing WAR, but the CTDs were really annoying. If they could fix those, it would make a hell of a difference. Not sure if they need the entire dev team on it though.

  4. No problen here either. It must be your drivers that aren't properly updated or you have some chipsets that aren't supported.

  5. Anonymous7:15 AM

    I don't think WAR is unplayable. As in, I've been logging in and playing perfectly happily for weeks now. I've done basic PVE, PQs, scenarios and oRvR (mostly Tier 2, with about 40 players on the field by rough count yesterday) without running into anything that annoyed me, other than having to run halfway across the map from the warcamp on occasion. And that can be a positive thing, because enemies don't instantly re-appear on the battlefield. So really, I have no problem with the game as it stands.

  6. Anonymous7:18 AM

    "Off the Mark"...

    Damn you heartless and your post titles! ;) I like it (the title).

  7. Anonymous8:58 AM

    WAR crashing makes no sense. My crappy 3 year old laptop runs WAR on the lowest settings fin and is stable rarely crashing, though the lag is brutal sometimes. ON the other hand my brothers muscle machine crashes every time he zones causing him to leave for WOW and WOTLK till its fixed. At one point it seemed like he was crashing every 15 minutes, but it has improved he's down to maybe 1 every 1 to 2 hours. Since I play the majority of the time with him, I'll be following.

  8. Anonymous9:25 AM

    The crashing issue Heartless and many others are reporting pertains to enemy fortress attacks. I have a very up-to-date system with a new generation GTX-260 card, so it's safe to say I have a system in the top 5% of those people use. I can run max settings in massive open RVR and have wonderful frame rates. HOWEVER, even if I drop settings to minimum, as our group approaches the enemy fortress, performance drops to unplayable levels. This even happens when there is little-to-no enemy opposition around. There's something screwy going on around fortresses. Most people have not yet experienced this, but as the player base matures, it will happen more othen and more severely.

    That is...it will happen IF they fix their screwy zone locking mechanic. Now that more people are in T4, it has become impossible to lock zones. The enemy just stops queuing for the respective scenario, and our victory points virtually stop.

    Bad locking mechanics and bad fortress endgame performance have ruined the game for me. I don't plan on renewing my subscription when it expires in 2 weeks. I'll keep up on their progress, and perhaps I'll resubscribe in 6 months. It's a shame. Mythic had a chance to grab a significant portion of pvp-oriented players who are bored with WoW. As of now, WAR is headed down the path of AoC - no sound end-game to hold on to players means mass exodus.


  9. Anonymous10:09 AM

    @MM - did the rest of your WB at the fortress all experience the same frustration with framerates? At lvl 26, I haven't come close to this yet, but my 3 yo laptop is starting to show strain in large scale encounters. So, your post is particularly troublesome if I add your issues on top of that.

  10. Anonymous10:16 AM

    Unfortunately, yes. Not a single person reported OK performance.

    I think the problem is more server side. Information isn't being processed and returned fast enough. For example, if you summon a mount, nothing happens for like 10 seconds.


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  12. You're an MMO player. You'll put up with it for about as long as it would have taken for you to quit anyway. Adding new features brings in new players and gets them more free advertising. They could waste time slowing churn or just rely on all the people who will appear to say that it must be a problem with your computer.

    MMO players have never shown themselves unwilling to buy buggy content. The day that a bug fix gets the same positive blogging that a new piece of content does, someone might care.

  13. @zubon

    Wrong. New features do not bring in new players, especially ones being tacked onto a game feature that is non-functioning.

    @everyone thinking this is a PC issue

    It is not a PC issue. The lag effects every single person equally and is widespread. Not a single server currently can take a defended fortress without the servers crashing.

    Also, this is routinely occurring during any tier 4 open RvR event as players begin hitting the tier en masse.

    Until this issue is taken care of, no features will make a piss of difference.

    WAR is unplayable in its current state and once everyone is done beating what does work to death, they will be gone.

  14. Anonymous3:23 AM

    So ?

    is this game worth buying or should i wait for the next patch ?

  15. Anonymous8:32 AM

    I never thought the performance was that bad. However my server was on the forced transfers last week. SO all the guilds on the server got together (destro and order) and decided were to go. We all moved to a high population server to avoid another transfers in the future. On Friday night I tried T4 RVR on the new high population server for the first time. There was 4 or 5 order war bands (not all full). Destro had double are numbers maybe more. the RVR had just started to get underway and the lag was brutal, It took my 1 to 2 minutes to mount. Then the server crashed. The server came back up quick, but it took about 10 minutes for everyone to come back. Then it crashed again. Everyone called it a night at that point.

  16. HI all,
    The problems don't really start till you reach T4. The lower level stuff seems to work fine and I dont think I've ever had lag while doing pve or pq's perhaps a wee bit if we had 40 people doing a keep seige. However the other night I was in t4 zone with 3-4 warbands and I logged because of the lag. I'll stay and level till 40 then I'll be gone if it isnt fixed. I came to PVP at the end game if its a lag fest I might as well go read a book.


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