Monday, March 15, 2010

Warhammer Online: WAR! What is it good for...(EDIT)

(EDIT: Ok, let me get this out of the way. I want to thank hardcorecasualgamer for his comment, which made me start thinking...
WAR has a new feature called "streaming content".  I had turned off streaming content and did a full file check and download of the game, as the streaming really made the game feel laggy.
I thought this should be good enough.

It is NOT the case.

Seems that if "Streaming" is off, this causes the errors in gameplay, which I  have noted further into my article. Turning Stream back on has fixed my issue. But, still, I will leave my post intact and hope it helps someone who has the same issues)

____________________________________________

Well, some things?

Ok, ok. Let me talk about my adventure into Warhammer Online.  As part of my coverage of the games from the past year or more that were "WoW" killer wannabes, I step into the brink and enter the WAR.

The game has been out for over a year now. Having played in beta, I was not overly impressed with this MMO, and the game led to quite a few arguments on the web with certain "apologist" bloggers (*Cough* Keen, Heartless_, Bildo *Cough*) who believed WAR to be the next coming. Lets just say a Communist Bloc was formed in their names (especially thanks to Bildo ranting on my blog with personal attacks...hey, where is he anyways?), until one day my blog blew up thanks to being a "Casualty" of  WAR (had a COW...hahaha...in-joke for those in the know.)

Lets just say, I was not that impressed and finally put it away. WAR was bad (not as bad as LOTRO or Vanguard is to me), but not what I enjoyed. Anyways...

Lately, as most of you may know, WAR is officially free to play for the first 10 ranks (levels). This gives you a good chance to really feel out the questing, RvR and PQ system. I took the opportunity to finally load it up due to changes in graphics and balancing of the realms system to see how they have come along.

How has it progressed in that past year?

Thanks to the server list being compressed so much, there was no doubt that quite a few people were playing within the server I was on. That made for certain parts of the game being quite fun. The PQ's or Public Quests System is really quite a blast (at least at first and for the first 10 levels...I have heard rumors of them getting worse...). Basically zones on the map, when entered, become open to a quest to be finished within certain constraints. Getting items, killing big bosses, etc. None of these are soloable from what I have seen (unless you are uber level I guess), but proved to be quite busy, so they were fun to enter and do. Questing was bland but not horrible, especially thanks to so much going on around you to lift any grind tedium.

The visual quality has also improved. They have added post processing and bloom to the visual mix, which helps improve landscapes, trees, buildings, etc. Characters also seem acceptable. But, man, talk about some ugly females in this game. Why are they all so ugly? WAR is hard on a woman I guess.

So, overall, seems like a fun enough game. Especially if I can get the full game for cheap (13 bucks is all...).

But, here is a major note. A rather buggy client has caused havoc while playing the game. I will not play anymore....period. I have tried to find why it does this, but no matter what I do; every time I log out, the game locks certain features.

For example.


After logging out, then logging back in later, my characters would be doing a paperdoll. All stuck in this funny looking pose and not moving. To fix it, you would need to do a file check and repair, which would then proceed to download a 4 GIG file to fix the game. I spent more time fixing the game than playing it seemed.

A second issue is after one of these "logouts" and trying to play without the repair, sound would become mucked up, and animations would be wonky.

Check out this video for an idea of the problem. Please note, there is not an issue with the video recording or from it being uploaded. The latency of sound (or missing sounds, like the gun not firing) AND animation (like mobs dying, and instantly lying on the ground) issue is actually what I would see and hear when playing.





To me, a game that has been out this long should not have issues like this. Some things are forgivable, like people complain about shields sticking through heads or bodies, and that does not bother me...this mess does. I would have enjoyed trying to get further in the game, as I really love the Witch Hunter character as an aesthetic thing (Solomon Kane fan here...lol). But, I cannot repair my game every time I want to enjoy myself, and immersion dies thanks to such an issue as this.

Well, hey, I gave it my best shot, and maybe you may not have the same issue (for example, I have cutting edge gear in my PC, and who knows...maybe that is causing the problem?)

For now..WAR! What is it good for? Good for shelving next to my LOTRO, Vanguard and EQ2 boxes.

Stay tuned for more on the games that wanted it all, but just could not get there series as it continues.

(SECOND EDIT:  I am working on having this clarified, but it seems that if you are on a trial account, you are not ALLOWED to play full client. You MUST stream. In so many words, the multiple times I downloaded the huge 4 gig patches to get the game to full has never worked, and maybe explains the issue above when Stream is turned off. More as I get the data on this.)

5 comments:

hardcorecasualgamer said...

I had the same problem with the streaming client locking up on me. Went ahead and downloaded the full client and didn't have anymore issues.

Openedge1 said...

@hardcorecasualgamer

I already downloaded the full client and have streaming turned off. Wish that WAS the issue. I really enjoyed the bits I played. Combat is much faster than Aion and runs well when it IS running on full blast.

Too bad such a bug exists.

Longasc said...

On a sidenote, this "streaming" stuff is usually more frustration than fun.

Guild Wars does the best job there, but even in GW I would rather WAIT for the full download than waiting during my gaming session. The "-image" switch for a full download should not be a secret left to veterans, but be presented as an option at installation already, IMO.

I think the idea is that people want to get quickly into the game, like in browsergames like Free Realms.

But they are doing their game and player a disservice if they then have bugs, issues, loading times and in general a really lessened experience.

LOTRO, WAR, ... streaming fails in practice?

Openedge1 said...

@Longasc

I truly agree. Especially for us high Bandwidth people, I mean to get the full game instead of streaming only takes me a couple of hours, and would be worth it for the times I played and how smooth it was. I love the GW -image command and use it all the time when I install on a new system.

The issues I encountered in WAR are much worse than streaming though...so to at least play, I will stream...just not sure I can "buy" the game in that state.

Cheers

Bildo said...

I'm here, Huckleberry... :)

If you checked Facebook more often, you'd see I write for MMORPG.com now!

And I've given up my parading around the interwebs in the name of one game. Blame it on Paul Barnett. :P

That said, I still dive into WAR now and again. It's definitely come a long way, but still has far to go too... especially in the PVE department.