Yes or yes?

After Carrie announced that they are working on new content, the WAR community went bonkers with anticipation of further news. Which is supposedly coming at the GamesCon in Cologne. Pretty much everyone is betting on an expansion, which is very likely. Going crazy about the next big bit of news is somewhat justifiable this time. But, as always, there are skeptics. Will this be a full expansions or just another live event? Will it just be a new zone with no new careers? Will it even have anything to do with WAR? For once I’m not siding with them. This time, I hardly care. You’ll say, the old heartless shrew has finally gone back to the theme park that is WoW. He doesn’t love WAR anymore. I have to disappoint you here, because it’s the love for WAR that leads me to feeling indifferent about an expansion. Crazy concept? Not so much.

The good:

  • New content gives the developers a chance to show their competence and commitment to the game, possibly attracting lost costumers. It also presents a chance to fix parts of the game they are not happy with, or at least the opportunity to shift focus to other areas.
  • New content means the game retains current players and greatly increases the amount of returning or new players.
  • New marketing opportunities. I bet the marketing department is trembling with anticipation at the prospect of being able to market an expansion.
  • If the expansions is a paid one, it brings in additional money to fund further development.
  • Community increases which attracts even more players. Word of mouth and viral marketing go a long way these days.

The above can be summarised with: more players -> more money -> better game. But that’s pure theory. There’s another side to the medal.

The bad:

  • New content isn’t just shat out one afternoon. It usually goes through the same development process the original game went through. It’s usually made by the same people. Who’s to say they won’t repeat the mistakes that drove the players away at launch? Couple that with possible new flaws in the development and you’ve got a catastrophe on your hands.
  • Don’t believe what anyone tells you, first impression is the one that lasts. The game has acquired a stigma at launch. If the expansion is to be successful, it needs to be as close to perfect as it can be made. And perfect is hardly a word you’d associate with MMOs.
  • You need to have a strong foundation to build your expansion on. WAR’s patch 1.3.6 disappointed in the areas that are the game’s bread and butter, namely ORvR and career balance. Anything built on this foundation will only exacerbate the existing problems.
  • Hype is a strong tool that can have a negative impact if you overdo it and the product doesn’t stand up to the expectations.
  • Community can turn against you with word of mouth working both ways.

The latter arguments are why I can’t bring myself to be hyped up about a possible expansion. Especially the points about a solid base to create new content on and repeating old mistakes (Mythic hasn’t quite convinced me that they know what they’re doing yet).

WAR recently went through what some called maintenance mode, because there was no new content, merely improvements of the existing one. It was something the game needed. It wasn’t in a good place because of mistakes made in the initial development. But during the process the game bled players, as it didn’t hold the attention-span of the gamers. (I have to remark here, that the average PvP MMO player is still a mystery to me. Killing people isn’t enough I guess, you need to have new ways to kill them every few months, or it gets old.) So Mythic jumped the gun and started working on new content that the game needs to retain players. I guess they hoped they’d manage to fix the core before the expansion went live. But since Carrie said they aren’t planning a 1.3.7, I’m afraid the disappointment that is patch 1.3.6 is the last big patch before the expansion. They’ll just gamble and hope the new expansion not only draws in players, but also retains them.

The problem? Who’d want to play new content for a month, just to discover he isn’t happy with the core gameplay and the same issues he left the game for? The holy truth of MMOs: No new content can fix the game if core gameplay sucks.

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6 thoughts on “Yes or yes?

  1. True enough matey, hadn’t really thought about that side of things too much tbh. Personally I love the core game. It’s not perfect but it’s more then enough for me. I’m looking forward to some new content but I’m no where near bored with the game as it stands currently, perhaps because I’m slower paced (lazier) then alot of people, my mains not even in Warlord yet, no full sets of either DP or Tyr despite playing for the last 18 odd months.

    • Dunno, I have played on and off since launch and my highest char is only RR70, but I do get bored of ORvR quite frequently. Ofc there are ways to mix it up by soloing, grouping with mates, doing scens… But the fact reamins, that the core of the game, the thing it was marketed for, gets boring after a while. Blame only 2 sides, uninspired lakes design, non-tactical zone locking or any other possible culprit. Something needs to be done tho. Upgrading the gameplay only to find out that it’s still the same boring game after a month would be a big blow.

      • Aye, I tend to skirt around the edging don’t really get involved with the Zerging mainly because my age old PC starts smoking!
        Hopefully they bring in some decent RvR core changes in 1.4, I’d read previously they were bringing in their planned Rvr changes across the next two patches. (One being 1.3.6 and the other 1.4 which is meant to be a ways off hopefully meaning some decent “chunky” changes..but then im a optimist.)

      • Well if you read the Eurogamer interview with Carrie, she says that they aren’t planning a 1.3.7. I doubt that 1.4 would be “just” a patch, big numbers are usually expansions and new content. We’ll see I guess, I just can’t bring myself to look forward to it.

  2. I’m sceptical at best, may sound doomy and gloomy but they’ve failed me and my subscription several times before and I’m more than certain that they’ll do so again. Hell, I’m even sceptical in regards to releasing Skavens (if that’s what they’re planning) since there’s so much they can screw up with this ‘expansion’.

    Plus, the old stuff still needs fixing, and if a new playable race were to be introduced, then the C&C team would more than likely ignore previous classes and deem the new races their “pets” so to speak.

    Still waiting for SWTOR, once that or a Beta invite comes, I’ll be looong gone from WAR and Mythic.

    Cheers,

    Spuxy the Moderate

    • SWTOR looks like an instanced multiplayer RPG at worst and a WoW clone in SW universe at best to me. Not thrilled about either, so it’s prolly WAR for me. :)

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