I was fully aware of WAR celebrating its second year anniversary, but despite reading all the celebratory posts and seeing all the rewards we’ve received it never really hit home. I was distracted and just dismissed it as another marketing ploy to retain current players and draw in new ones with the promise of a seasoned and battle hardened MMO (oh a pun!), much like the first year anniversary. It never really got to me that maybe Mythic aren’t doing this just as something the marketing department told them to do.
The turnaround happened when I saw this video. There’s Carrie in it (the femme fatale of WAR) and two of the holy trinity that hyped up WAR before the launch: Jeff Hickman and Paul Barnett (with third being Josh Drescher).
A digression: I have to say, I don’t hate the people who hyped up the game. I don’t hate Paul Barnett, he just did what he was told to do. In fact, I’m pretty sure that the lack of creative distance he had from the game made him think he was doing what was best for it. Even though his work might have harmed WAR more than helped it, he’s still brilliant and british. “The Hicks” was probably in a similar position and I really can’t imagine him intentionally trying to hurt the game for his personal gain (he’s sort of a teddy bear, with a beard). The video also reminded me that Josh is no longer working on the game, which saddened me. Damn you EA!
Besides those three saying a few lines about how great WAR is (actually, they could have done better; chaos chicken?), there’s a ton of game footage. And it’s not just any footage, it’s footage from everything the game has to offer. You can see some lowbie characters, various dungeons, PQs, ORvR,… While watching one question was present in my mind; what in the game would draw in new players? And I went “that and that and that, oh that’s cool…” I though wow, all of this is WAR, it’s HUGE! It really is an amazing game, it’s a shame more people don’t realise it.
Then I had a flashback; how I got familiar with WAR, started playing it, every high and low I played through and all of the good times I had. And then it hit me; players are an integral part of this game, more than any other. And it’s the second year Mythic have been trying to make this into the best MMO ever, the second year we have been playing it like it’s the best MMO ever. Second year. One, two. Second.
I’ve also watched a video I’ve missed on launch day (because I was too busy trying to play the game). And it reminded me more than ever, that behind all those pixels and code there are people. Behind everything that makes you curse or marvel when playing the game, there’s a ton of passion and commitment. Sure, Mythic are trying to run a company and make a living off the game, but I’m sure that first and foremost they are trying to make a great MMO. Whenever you are frustrated and feel like kicking someone, remember that they are just people and are always doing their best.
Happy second anniversary to WAR, the developers and all the faithful players!
PS: I know the celebration rewards are a bit lackluster (as was the first anniversary). The twin aegis doesn’t even look like the one on the picture, it’s just 2 banners instead of a two-headed one. But, I’m sure that’s because work on the expansion is eating all of their time. The expansion better deliver the awesomeness the concept art radiates. Or else we’ll have to storm Mythic’s offices (the EU ones aswell) and shave their heads into mohawks! It’s a promise.