I posted most of what would ordinarily have made up today’s posts last night; I did not get to play much over the weekend, which is not unusual. I did, however, manage to take Einfeuer to Altdorf on Saturday night, and this time I poked around a bit. I didn’t explore the city completely – some parts of it are said to be dangerous!
There’s a lot of talk in various places, including some blogs, about factional population balance in RvR. I think this is a legitimate cause for concern, although I think it’s too early to be working oneself into a frenzy over it, even if some people are exhibiting a frothing rage about the issue. I expect things will even out eventually. Partially this will happen because of some steps Mythic takes to address the alleged issue, but mostly the population will even itself out over time; better Destruction players will gravitate to Order where the challenge is supposedly greater, and we all know the general audience is likely to prefer Order by a modest but significant margin. Some of those people have not yet fully embraced the notion of RvR; they’ve probably played a scenario or two but aren’t fully comfortable with it yet, just as they haven’t yet totally embraced Public Quests and open grouping, but they will, and it won’t take that long, I think.
The telling thing is that the balance already seems to have swung in Order’s favor in Tier 1 on many servers; the hardcore (or at least slightly less casual) players who started two or four days early and who gravitated to Destruction are now mostly in Tier 2 or even 3. As the normal players move up, these tiers will balance out as well.
At least that’s my take on it. Perfect balance is never going to happen, of course, but if things don’t even out naturally expect Mythic to put in some small but significant changes, like a faction-wide ‘desperation’ buff or something. It is a concern, and I’ve said this will be something Mythic is going to have to keep a very close eye on as the game rolls foreward, but there’s no reason for panic.
I think it’s safe at this point, with the first weekend behind us, to say that Warhammer Online has launched successfully. Server login queues and server lag have been the biggest issues, and I’m hoping that Mythic will be able to fix both in the next couple of weeks. The former situation is a lot better than it was, and while the latter was especially pernicious in the world RvR keep battle I was in over the weekend, at no point did the game actually become unplayable.
So bravo to Mythic; they did good here in introducing a very solid game without falling on their faces in any significant way. Now’s when the lengthier task of post-launch development begins, and they do have their work cut out for them. There are lots of bugs to be fixed, lag and population issues to address, and expansion content to work on. The next round of status reports will doubtless deal with subscription numbers and such, and I’ll be curious to see how that pans out. But more important for me is the question of how much the game will improve over the next two or three months.