Posts Tagged ‘delay’

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Da Newz – July 3

July 3, 2008

Story of the Week: Guild Beta Begins

  • It was an announcement that was heard ’round the world… of guild communities. The very, very long-awaited guild beta was pronounced to start in July, with beta keys flying every which way to various guilds who applied. And yet… and yet Chrono Chaos was overlooked. WE SHALL NOT BE SLIGHTED!

Beta Ticker:

  • 752,553 (+8,950 from last week)

Quotes of the Week:

  • “I can’t say why but believe the hype for WAR. I’ve heard from plenty of trusted people that this game’s on a solid bee-line to success. Trusted by me anyway.” ~ JoBildo
  • “In truth, MMOG developers really haven’t seen anything comparable to this situation since the genre really began hitting its stride in early 2000. Even the competition between EverQuest II and the original release of WoW isn’t comparable.” ~ TTH on the WAR vs. WoW launch

New Sites & Blogs:

From EA Mythic:

Articles & Essays:

Videos & Podcasts:

Fun & Games:

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Fear, Itself

June 28, 2008

If we were burdened with the homework assignment of listing the greatest fears of the Warhammer Online community right now, “another delay” would be tied with “not living up to expectations” and “getting the stuffing beat out of it by WoW”, but just behind “spiders and spider-related superheroes”.

It’s the big invisible elephant in the WAR room: what if WAR’s going to be delayed again? It’s not outside of the realm of possibility, after all. Mythic has made the call twice to postpone WAR for futher testing and polish, and EA has stuck by them both times. Mythic’s also been adamant that WAR doesn’t ship until it meets their expectations, first and foremost. “It won’t ship until it’s done,” they’ve said, “And done right.”

Delays cause considerable conflicting emotions to well up in the hearts of fans (note, that’s not fans of Heart, which are a great group of people you should get to know today). On one hand, we’ve witnessed enough lackluster and faulty launches in the MMO genre to choke a sea cow (yes! another manatee graphic!), and the thought of WAR stumbling and falling flat right out of the gate is a truly cringe-worthy image. On the other hand, fans aren’t noted for their long-lasting patience, and two delays have tested what little credit there is already.

There comes a point where a game must be launched, or must be canceled/indefinitely postponed, due to the costs of development. Right now, WAR is purely in the red for EA. Every day, every month they work on the game is an outflow of money without a single dollar coming back in. EA can afford to be patient — after all, they need a big MMO hit and not another screw-up — but it’s not infinite. Sooner or later, WAR has to get out the door to bring the books back to the black.

So imagine this scenario: August or September rolls around, we’ve been in guild beta and perhaps NDA-drop land, but open beta’s yet to begin. After taking a hard look at beta numbers and surveying the closed beta crowd, Mythic feels that they need to push it back again — to Q1 or Q2 2009 — in order to really make everything click. Open beta gets pushed back as well, to October/November/December.

What would happen? Well, I think this time around fans might have more ground to be justifiably upset. Devs at this point have verbally committed to the “Fall 2008″ ship date so many times it’s just as much of a mantra as is “War is Everywhere”. Top that with sales of the Collector’s Edition, which fans have been paying for as early as April 2008, and you’re going to have more angry players demanding to see the game they’ve already shelled out the big bucks for. And don’t forget, another delay would possibly let Lich King slip in the door first and draw in scores of WAR-wannabes who might be fed up with the delay and starving for new content that they’d return to WoW. Top that all with the public perception that a thrice-delayed game must be extremely faulty at the core, and WAR could become the butt of a lot of jokes.

It’s not a pretty picture. It’s not worst-case scenario, but it’s getting there. And yes, you’d still have a strong contingent of fans who would back up Mythic’s call and wait it out until WAR’s release. But if WAR doesn’t ship this fall, there’s going to be hell to pay — and hell doesn’t pay very well.

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Da Newz – June 26

June 26, 2008

Story of the Week: Richard Bartle’s WAR=WoW Remark

  • The rule of the blogosphere is that if there isn’t enough real news going on, we’ll make it up ourselves. Richard Bartle, crown prince of MUDs, was quoted in an interview effectively saying that Warhammer and Warcraft were the same game. This ignited a firestorm of nerdrage, dozens of posts, and (surprisingly) dozens of replies from Bartle himself.

Beta Ticker:

  • 743,603
  • +14,757 from last week

Quotes of the Week:

  • “I’ve already played Warhammer. It was called World of Warcraft.” ~ Richard Bartle
  • “It’s fantasy with all the crap bits taken out.” ~ Paul Barnett
  • “If a developer’s confidence equated directly to the excellence of a video game, then Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning would easily be one of the best MMOs ever made.” ~ IGN
  • “[Age of Conan's launch] showed us that it’s very important that you be as polished and complete when you launch your game.” ~ Jeff Hickman

New Blogs & Sites:

From EA Mythic:

Articles & Features:

Videos & Podcasts:

Fun & Games:

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ChaosCast #2: Technical Difficulties, Please Stand By

June 16, 2008

It’s time once again for the troublesome trio of WAR bloggers (Snafzg, Keen and myself) to get together and waste… er, spend three hours of a Saturday afternoon recording a Warhammer Online podcast, only to have Keen’s computer lose our audio files. Repeatedly. You have NO idea how many times we recorded the “what attracted you to WAR?” section, and how many iterations we went through. In one recording — this is true — we got into a detailed fantasy of saving Paul Barnett from a burning building and giving his mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Pity you missed out.

Listen to ChaosCast #2: Technical Difficulties, Please Stand By!

Have a listener question for ChaosCast #3? Leave it in the comments section!

Show Notes:

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Picking Over The March Newsletter

April 7, 2008

You know it’s been a breakneck news cycle lately since the monthly WAR newsletter — usually the topic of discussion for an entire week on any WAR fan site — was largely shoved aside in the wake of the delay announcement, the CE details, the Paris Event and my blossoming into puberty. Well, that last part technically happened in 1987, but I keep getting visited by the Big Honking Zit Fairy, so I assume that I’ve still got a growth spurt or two left in me.

Instead of breaking down the March newsletter piecemeal, I thought I’d give it a read through (which you can also do here) and note things that haven’t already been talked about to death in the past couple weeks:

  • Lots of rehashing over the delay and CE. The delay gets one paragraph, and the CE gets dozens. Huh.
  • Games Workshop is inviting future WAR players on April 12-13 to a GW store to get free lessons in tabletop Warhammer.
  • In March, Beta testers wrapped up both the HE/DE and Chaos/Empire focus tests, along with early crafting, renown ranks, and UI changes. They quote a few beta testers on these changes (positive, of course).
  • If you snag a copy of a Warhammer comic book from BOOM! Studios, you could win a chance in the beta.
  • There’s a nice article on the making of the Inevitable City — not so much the nitty-gritty aspects, but more the feel and process of its creation.
  • Marauder and Witch Hunter overviews & mastery paths. Nothing revolutionary, but I think both classes will be incredibly popular.
  • A really neat Bright Wizard wallpaper (sneak peak for the trailer).
  • Some of the concept art for weapons, like the Engineer’s wrenches, are pretty cool.
  • The Grab Bag is always my favorite (I’m tired of wading through videos at this point, and I appreciate some direct Q&A’s). Interesting tidbits: players as low as level 7 can travel to their capital cities, and when you capture an enemy city, you can kick down doors and loot to your heart’s content!
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Da Newz

April 3, 2008

Da Newz is WAAAGH!’s weekly wrapup of WAR news bits and chunks.

BETA TICKER: 644,508 (+20,120 from last week)

  • Massively reports that WAR will have no dance emote.
  • Only-WAR.com is another site that got an interview with Mark Jacobs about the WAR delay. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a man give out so many interviews, so it’s logical to assume he’s a cyborg.
  • “WAR’s delay: from the fallout comes further details” from Massively. In short: WAR news and media will continue at a good pace, WAR is not afraid of WoW, and the CE head start will be more than just a day.
  • New videos: Altdorf City and Dark Elves at GameSpy. High Elves and Altdorf City at IGN.
  • IGN wrote up a piece on City Sieges. As the cities — 9 in total — will be the ultimate focus of the RvR conflict, this is of special interest to many people anticipating WAR. Cities are being approached a bit like RPG characters: they have five levels to progress through as players accomplish tasks for the city, which will change the face of the city and allow players to access new content. There will even be dungeons under the city to explore.
  • GameSpy explored Chaos’ Inevitable City to their glee. More discussion in here about the “leveling up” of a city, the RvR war waged between capital cities, and capturable keeps.
  • GameSpy has its take on the Collector’s Edition, and it’s… pretty much the same as mine, only less swearing and rants against corporate greed in the Bahamas.
  • Check out Eurogamer’s interview with Jeff Hickman at the Paris event! VERY interesting quote about the release date: “I know the actual dates and it’s not six months. Let’s call it three to six months.”
  • Mark’s said that not all of the servers will be available for the head start (and, apparently, they are planning on “lots” of servers).
  • Open beta will begin this summer.
  • Cool Greenskins wallpaper over at Warhammer Vault.
  • GU Comics muses on class balance in WAR.
  • Mark specified what he includes as autumn/fall in terms of the release date: “I posted earlier in the week that I consider the Fall between September 23rd – December 21st. So, if you’re counting on August…”
  • WarCry gets their interview in with Mark Jacobs about the delay. At this point, is there any need to keep touching on this subject? Is there any previously unhidden factoids that might come to the light? I don’t think so.
  • A couple of video interviews with Jeff Hickman in Paris, talking about WAR.
  • Keen reports on a few tidbits of news coming from Paris: WAR might cost 14 Euros a month, and Mythic is estimating about 200-250 hours (8-10 days) /played to hit level 40 (the cap).
  • Videogamer.com has a great “Hands On” article about WAR. “And so I beg Mythic to convince me to stop playing WoW and start playing WAR.” Amen.
  • Warhammer Vault’s April Fool’s: Warhammer’s first expansion announced!
  • April’s High Elf calendar wallpaper at Warhammer Vault.
  • Josh Drescher recaps the Paris Event, blog-style.
  • Hexus.gaming interviews Mythic about PQs, social networking and other fun topics.
  • WarCry got a nice hands-on experience at Paris, and you can read all about it here.
  • The Greenskin is there for us with their weekly Forum Watch – check it out!
  • Keen reports that Mark Jacobs expects over one million beta sign-ups before it’s all said and done. Holy schnikey!
  • Paul Barnett says that he’s working on an audio “read along” for the art book in the CE, probably to be downloadable after the CE ships.
  • “Chaos, Panic, Disorder: WAR CE Pre-Order Run-Down” at Massively.
  • Warhamma #13 is out — give it a good listen!
  • “One Week Later: WAR Collector’s Edition” at The Greenskin.
  • New Secret Life of Mobs comic: “Relationship Trouble”.
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Eleven Best WAR Features Touted This Past Week

April 2, 2008

Because everything should go to eleven, dontcha know?

1. The Collector’s Edition – In the field of collector’s editions, WAR is poised to outdo them all with a collection of great out-of-game bonuses (art book, graphic novel, figurine) and plenty of in-game goodies (character heads, unique quests, fun items). $30 for all this? Consider it a steal!

2. Mark Jacobs weathering the delay fallout on Warhammer Alliance Forums – Right, wrong or somewhere in the middle on the decision to delay, Mark nevertheless hit the community with a preemptive olive branch of communication and diplomacy. For a good couple days, he answered the many, many worries and questions people had about the WAR delay. It proves we have a great dev team that not only cares about the game, but in the community.

3. This quote by Paul Barnett on a video interview – THEM: “W-w-why would that be there?” PAUL: “‘Cause it’s a Chaos Demon!” THEM: “Well what’s the reason for it being there?” PAUL: “Because its CHAOS! It’s just there…” THEM: “W-well won’t people get upset?” PAUL: “No, they’ll get KILLED! …It’ll be AWESOME!”

4. Plungers of the World – Instead of falling off a cliff to your death or getting stuck in an obscure piece of terrain, WAR will reward you for your exploration and then blow you the heck back into the map with large explosives.

5. Crafting – Really nice to get to see a bit of this, nicer still that gathering will come solely from mobs you kill (no node farming!), but it would be the nicest of all to get a more complete run-down on this facet of WAR.

6. Altdorf/Inevitable City walkthroughs – Since these will not only be the capitol cities of their factions but also the staging ground for end game RvR battles, it was great to get fully fleshed-out tours through them.

7. There’s a guy. In Altdorf. Who’s sitting on the can in an outhouse. And you can get a quest from him.

8. Guilds get their own UI look, as well as their own banners. Spiffy!

9. Open beta is announced to start “sometime this summer”. I know it can’t be soon enough for most folks.

10. The new WAR website – not only looks great, but they’re being pretty good with updating it regularly!

11. The March Newsletter – and I’ve been so busy going through all the other WAR info released recently, I haven’t even read mine yet!

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Da Newz – Delay, CE & March Newsletter

March 26, 2008

Beta Ticker: 624,388

Without a doubt, this has been the busiest news week concerning WAR since I started WAAAGH!… um… two weeks ago. If it continues at this pace, as current trends predict, I might as well hire on a full staff of forty Fozzy Bears to cover the press. I just need the tomatoes to pay them with.

The big news starting off is, surprisingly enough, not the Collector’s Edition, but the aforementioned delay in WAR’s release until “autumn”. Expect to see that word — “autumn” — used about a billion times between now and then as people speculate on the release. Remember, Nmutua is Autumn backwards. I’ve already discussed the delay at length as has Mark Jacobs, so if you need more perspectives, shall I call on my color-challenged friend Mr. Greenskin or my navy buddy Commander Keen or Doc Heartless? I think I shall.

Update: GameSpy scored an interview as well as WarCry with Mark with yet more questions about the delay. Read at your heart’s peril.

After licking your wounds over that announcement, at least there’s a silver lining or two to this whole bloody mess: the Big, Mega, Super-Duper, Spectacular, Peachy Keen announcement of the Collector’s Edition and the Pre-Order over on the main site. Although I promised to talk about it today, there’s really so much here that it warrants its own special article (so stay tuned!).

If that wasn’t enough, the March WAR Newsletter is either here or on its way, depending on your sources. You can get your fill here or here or here (or just sign up to get the newsletter delivered to your inbox already!). Do you have a question about guilds that you want answered by a WAR dev? Only-WAR.com is taking all comers in an effort to cull a few good queries for a future newsletter!

To keep things more succinct than last week, here’s a roundup of other notable WAR news:

  • The Grouchy Gamer scored an exclusive interview on March 13 with WAR’s Community Coordinator, James Nichols. James reports that the WAR beta (and non-beta) community has been “awesome”, discusses how they’ve been doing the “Focus Betas”, the high number of beta applicants, learning about Warhammer lore, and various aspects of his job.
  • Play has a nice WAR preview – nothing too new, but well-written and a good briefing for those not in the WAR know.
  • The Europe Press Site Event has drawn out a lot of new info, and WHA forums are there to summarize it all for you. What caught my eye? If you’re a really exceptional player, your home city might erect a statue of you!
  • Ten Ton Hammer has a good FAQ on Keeps and Sieges.
  • Keen and Graev’s Goblannoyed #0 – get in while the getting is good!
  • I’m never gonna give you up, I’m never gonna let you down.
  • Warhammer Vault posted a classy High Elf wallpaper for you to enjoy.
  • Two new Dev Diaries to digest! In “The Writing of WAR”, Matt Daniels discusses how a character’s backstory is layered, how they incorporate the lore, and how they make backstories relevant to all the races. Destin Bales munches through “The Pre-Production Process”, where an astounding 10,000 pages of content goes through various stages to make it in the game.
  • 16 new screencaps at WorthPlaying!
  • West Karana muses “What can beta leaks tell us about upcoming games?”
  • Mark Jacobs confirmed that there will be NO lifetime subscription (such as a one-time fee to play as long as the game is alive) for WAR.
  • Greenskin’s Forum Watch for the week!
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Digesting The Delay

March 26, 2008

Before we do anything else, let’s hear what Mark Jacobs has to say over at the Warhammer Alliance Forums. Don’t worry, I’ll be here when you get back (…i have months of spare time now…).

Massively had a post about the delay as well.

To summarize what Mark and others have said about the new delay:

  • The official quote is that WAR was delayed to “Invest additional time and effort in implementation and polish to make WAR great.
  • “Fall 2008″ is the only launch date they’re comfortable in saying at this point.
  • This is not an early April Fool’s joke (I checked).
  • WAR will simultaneously release in NA and Europe.
  • EA is “sad but supportive” toward the decision.
  • No game-breaking reason for the delay, just more time to polish and balance to make a great game. No huge changes needed.
  • Open Beta and the drop of the NDA have been pushed back as well. They hope to do more beta invites.
  • They’d “rather have fans pissed at them now than pissed at them when they released the game”.

Shoving aside emotions, crushed expectations and the elephanty question of “Well, NOW what do I do with my summer?”, it has to be said that if they really and truly need the extra time for more balancing and polish to make a better game, then so be it. It should be done. If this delay means the difference between a good game that won’t really rack up the numbers and contribute to the long-term success of WAR, and a great game that just sucks us all in for a good long while, then that is a smart move.

Mark made the point that WAR’s development time has been relatively short for this industry; they only really started working on the game in 2005, and a three-year cycle is almost the norm for a AAA MMO title. It’s easy to forget that World of Warcraft continually pushed back its expected release window until everything was as polished as they could get it before release — and people were going just as nuts then as they are over WAR now.

It’s also to be said that Mark in particular and Mythic in general get huge doses of respect for being up front about the delay (particularly before everyone started plunking down cash for the CE) and for keeping communication about the delay flowing in the forums.

However… I can’t just shake this off without venting a bit of frustration and concern. Yeah, this bites. It bites hard. Nobody likes to see a delay of a game they’re anticipating, and WAR’s multiple delays at this point seem particularly stinging. What stings me the most is the timing of this announcement: today, of all days, WAR enthusiasts were waking up all excited about the promised “big announcement” of the CE. Instead, it felt like a slap in the face for the first thing to be announced is the delay. A delay on any other day would suck; today it hurt even worse. I asked Mark about this on the forums and he defended the release of this information today due to being able to spread the news further and wider through a public announcement, but I disagree strongly. You simply do NOT build up fan expectations about good news and then turn around and dish out stinky pudding. As mature and honorable their intentions, Mythic did stumble today — make no mistake about it.

Two other major concerns that now arise is the possible flood of disappointed WARites into Age of Conan (a move I’m considering, at least to tide me over) and the very real possibility that WAR’s new autumn release will bump right up against its biggest competitor: WoW’s Wrath of the Lich King. Not to mention LOTRO’s expansion that’s also due this fall.

In any case, the decision is made, and whether we like it or not, that’s how it’s gonna be. So… what now? As for WAAAGH!, I’ll be continuing to bring you updates, news and articles as they occur, but I am worried about the huge chunk of time between now and then — and what to fill it with (don’t worry, I’ll think of something).

As for gaming, I’m having to readjust my perspective this morning. My original plan was to mostly diddle around in WoW with my level 70’s until WAR’s release. With WAR’s delay and the assumed long stretch of time between now and WoW’s next expansion, I’m really going to need something more substantial — whether that be May’s release of AoC or Mass Effect, going back to CoH for an action fix or what have you. I don’t know.

I know that this has overshadowed the other big news of the day (the Collector’s Edition), so I assure you that once I get back on my anti-depressants and pick myself up off the floor, we’ll be covering that soon. Like, tomorrow!

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Color Me Crushed

March 26, 2008

I guess this is what I get for being overly excited:

Warhammer Online is delayed until the fall.

Well… crap.

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