WAR Burnout?

According to Xfire, I spent 36 hours over the past seven days playing Warhammer Online. It’s actually more than that, since Xfire rounds the length of each session down to the hour. So add probably another 3 or 4 hours on top of that.

This is unprecedented for me – normally, I’m lucky to get 20 hours a week into MMO gaming – and I think it’s a testament to just how well the game has turned out. At this pace, WAR would become, within the week, my #1 game in hours played according to Xfire. But it’s also not surpirsing, given this massive chunk of time spent in-game, that after a crash Saturday night, I had very little desire to go in and play some more, depite ample opportunity (i. e. several more hours to waste.)

I’d been noticing at early as the middle of last week that my enthusiasm for doing anything but running scenarios was wearing down. Part of this was related in one way or another to realm and population balance issues; the non-viability of scenario play on our Destruction server, the dicey proposition of finding groups doing PQs in my current chapter on Order, and the guild’s failure to get an exciting world RvR event going during the week (we had one, but there really wasn’t much competition.) But scenario play on Averheim was still viable, and, at least in Tier 2, where I was doing the bulk of my play, the balance seems to be swinging in favor of Order – certainly, we won a lot of rounds of Mourkain Temple.

WAR is just as good as the population allows it to be. This is true of any MMO, but it’s more true in WAR, where one side being as little as 10% higher in population seriously throws off the balance of play on the entire server. This seems to me to be too precarious a balance. It’s possible that the issues will smmoth themselves out within the next couple of weeks, but that was little comfort to me on Saturday.

I alt-TAB in and out of the game all the time, beacuse I refuse to play pretty most anything in Windowed mode. This has been a major source of crashes to desktop for many, but not for me, although it’s caused a crash a couple of times. When on Saturday night the whole computer locked up, I spent the bootup time thinking that I didn’t really care to play any more WAR that night.

So I did something that should not surprise long-time readers of this blog. Something I’d been thinking about for a couple of weeks, but which I hadn’t mentioned in this space.

This is yet another new trial, not a return to my old account. I’m not sure if I will stick with it beyond the 14 days or not. I don’t know that I am getting tired of WAR, or if I only needed a break for two or three days. Certainly, if anything is likely to keep me hanging around, it’s the outstanding guild that Casualties has developed into.

EVE is a game I much admire, and have often praised. It’s also a game in which I tend to run out of fun depressingly quickly. A big part of this is that I’ve never managed to find my way into a decent corp, despite some effort at it. This would be true in any game, but it’s even more true in EVE, a game in which it’s not easy to solo in the long term.

It’s an interesting question whether or not WAR has given me more of a taste for PvP than I previously had – I’m pretty sure it has, and if nothing else I’m certainly more comfortable with the threat of PvP than I was when playing, say, Age of Conan a few months back. And if so, that plays into EVE’s favor, although I’m not sure it was a factor in the urge to play EVE that I’ve increasingly had to fight for the last week or two.

So what will come of this? Will I stick with WAR or EVE, or will I try to juggle both? Hell if I know, but at this point I’m not committed to either beyond the period that’s already lined up, about two weeks in each.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

10 responses to “WAR Burnout?

  1. “This is true of any MMO, but it’s more true in WAR, where one side being as little as 10% higher in population seriously throws off the balance of play on the entire server.”

    This is a pretty bold statement. Can I ask what numbers/stats/data you’re basing it on? I’d be interested to know what the population cap of a server is, actually…

  2. I’m not sure I see it as a bold statement at all – it’s self-evidently true that WAR is more dependent on having a population balanced between faction, tier, and time than, say, WoW. For WAR to be firing on all cylinders, there needs to be not only some minimum number of players online at that time (for PQ/scenario groups to be viable, and so on,) but a rough balance in population between the two factions, so that you can actually get scanerios to fire and have some actual world RvR going on. And this needs to be the case in each Tier as well. Right now, the overall cap appears to be low enough that as population spreads out between the Tiers, the population at any one time/tier is dropping below some critical threshold. Back when everybody was in Tier 1, it wasn’t an issue, but now people are much more spread out.

    This is not, of course, neccessarily true on all servers, and in the long term it may well be self-correcting. Even if it’s not, it’s by no means unfixable. What it did do is kill any desire I had to play more WAR over the weekend. Everybody always knew this was going to be a challenge for the game.

  3. I might toss in that you’re in T3 while the majority is in T2 still (albeit likely for only a week or two more at best). I wish I had more time to devote to it… 36 hours?! You sir, sucketh. I got 11 in last week. Wee.

    So yes, I’d say burnout is a high possibility with 36 hours in a week. Take a breather.

  4. Yeah, that’s very true, and I’m quite aware of it. I’m by no means giving up on WAR quite yet, and I have been moving, I think, really fast.

  5. I’m actually re-rolling, or raising the IB for a bit methinks. Alts help. Maybe play around in T2 a bit, while the rest of the NORMAL people catch up to your speedy arse? 🙂

    I’m also supplementing my WAR with Rock Band 2, which is a nice nice no-strings attached game to play between smashing heads.

  6. That’s a good point too – I recently created an IB of my own and was having fun playing him – He’s up to (I think) level 5 now and having no problem at all getting into scenarios. Maybe I’ll fool with him for a bit tonight or tomorrow. Plus I have a Runepriest just getting into the good levels (I think he’s at 4 ATM.)

  7. “it’s self-evidently true that WAR is more dependent on having a population balanced between faction, tier, and time than, say, WoW. For WAR to be firing on all cylinders, there needs to be not only some minimum number of players online at that time (for PQ/scenario groups to be viable, and so on,) but a rough balance in population between the two factions,”

    I don’t disagree with that at all. But “rough balance” and 10% seem like very different figures. If There are 2000 Order players and 2200 Destruction players spread across a server, I don’t think gameplay is going to suffer all that much. But I have no hard numbers to back that up…just a gut feeling.

  8. Yeah, that’s kind of my point – 10% doesn’t seem like much, and certainly not a big enough imbalance to be a problem. Yet (again, according to the best numbers we have right now) there’s only that as a gap between the two sides on Thorgrim, but it’s big enough to cause T1 scenarios to never fire. And again, this is on a server with allegedly ‘Medium” population, by Mythic’s definition.

    Yes, there’s some assumptions on my part in here, much of it based on anecdotal evidence. But that’s the best information I have right now. I’m not advocating panic or anything, I just think (as I thought well before release) that this is the major issue facing the game: it seems too dependent on too precarious a balance across factions and tiers.

  9. Ah, ok. I hadn’t heard that 10% was the difference figure on Thorgrim. All the pieces fall into place now.

    Thanks for talking me through it. And yeah, that does seem concerning. I’d assumed the difference on Thorgrim was a lot bigger than that.

  10. Pingback: Warhammer After a Month | Kill Ten Rats