A Shortage of Players, not of Frustration

Casualties is playing Order on Badlands and Destruction on Monolith. Last night I played Destruction. I had transferred a few of my older characters over from the old underpopulated server, but this amounted to my rank 9 Black Orc and a whole mess of guys in the 2-4 range. So I did some housecleaning, deleting all the characters on every server but the two mentioned above, and making some fresh ones on the Destro side. Of those, I played two, a Blackguard and a Marauder, getting both to rank 5.

I played for about four hours total. I was queued for scenarios the entire time. And not a single one fired.

Yeah, I enjoyed myself anyway, and maybe last night’s experience wasn’t representative, but when you start to get up into the latter half of Tier 2, doing straight PvE isn’t going to cut it.

Readers may recall that population balance issues were a big part of what soured me on WAR the first time around. It appears that the situation has not been seriously remedied; Either WAR’s queue system is completely broken or Mythic is doing an incredibly poor job managing populations. I kept an eye on Monolith’s population throughout the night, and it never peeked above Low. Clearly, the halfhearted free transfers are not consolidating populations in the way that server merges would, and the population caps on individual servers are too low, leaving only a very narrow band of numbers where all activities are viable.

This is not to say that there aren’t other servers where the action is hopping, but I have little tolerance for this kind of situation; if it doesn’t improve or at least start showing signs of life, I’ll be abandoning Monolith for a better server, preferably one of the RP servers, which tend (over different games) to have both larger and more mature populations.

All this said, Badlands seems much better; Wednesday’s Order experience was positive at least in Tier 1 – Tier 3 seemed fairly empty when I was on, but at least scenarios were firing.

I did like both the Marauder and Blackguard classes – the latter in particular works better for me than any other Dark Elf option, and while I was never a fan of Chaos in the tabletop Warhammer games, I’ve enjoyed playing them in Warhammer Online. The starter zone is one of the better ones in the game and the characters have a cool look to them. I have no affinity for the Magus, but then I’ve never gotten one above rank two or so. Thus far I’ve gotten the Chosen, Marauder and Zealot all to about rank 5 and had a good time with all of them. Since I refuse to play a Goblin and don’t much care for the Dark Elves, this makes Chaos my primary avenue Destro-side.

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5 responses to “A Shortage of Players, not of Frustration

  1. Ah thank you, thank you! I left for (mostly) the same problems at launch but the 6-month mark is coming up soon. Mythic has another month and a half to fix things but I have the distinct feeling you just saved me $15.

  2. This is weird…especially when Conan is seeing a resurgence due to fixes and new content being added to mid levels.
    Next up for AoC is patch 1.4 with new level 80 dungeons for small and large groups, and many new additions (including some lower level solo stuff…)
    I would wager a guess that the “Live” expansion could help WAR immensely…but, will it be enough?

  3. I’m hoping that last night was just a slow night of that particular server; things seemed better on Badlands Wednesday night. And I’m pretty sure there are servers where the action is still happening. I’ve only been back for two days, so it’s too early to draw a solid conclusion. But last night didn’t give me a good feeling.

    The issue with WAR is that the PvE progression is extremely linear. This isn’t a big problem as long as you have PQs and RvR to divert yourself into. But when the PvE game is the only game in town, you might as well play WoW, which has a PvE game that’s not only equally good, but has multiple threads you can follow.

    I’m not bored yet but I won’t last the 60 days in this environment.

    @Edge: The bunch on content that’s coming can’t do anything but help, but something more is needed. WAR is more fun than AoC IF there’s population around to support all of the various activities. At this point the population seems too spread out over too many servers, and the fixes that Mythic has tried up to this point haven’t helped enough. That, and the server cap is low enough that things are really only all firing correctly if the population at any given time is within a few percent of that. If WAR’s big content dump comes along with structural server changes (i. e. merges and increased caps,) my guess is that it’ll help a great deal.

  4. I’ve been ranting about population problems on Ostermark for a few weeks, now. Mythic HAS to merge the low population servers. The game is almost unplayable without other players – it’s a RvR game at heart, and you absolutely MUST have opponents to fight. Not that you can’t PvE in WAR – you can, but instances also need a group of friendly players. All that you can do no your own is grind on individual PvE mobs. Low population servers are being locked out of the game’s main content, and that’s not good for Warhammer, Mythic, or the players.