Monday, November 17, 2008

Warhammer is dead to me.

It was flashy, funny, and better (better?) at player vs. player combat than any MMO I've played.

But I don't care anymore. The rest of the warjammers are apathetic, and I think I know why. We approached the game as scientists (overly scheduled scientitsts) and tried to force meaning out of a game designed to minimize meaningful thought. Here's some notes from my most recent post on

"I mean YES the game is beautiful and complicated and they insert humor at some choice moments but the overall feeling falls short of my expectations. I started to grow tired of the place, tired of the game. I turned off the Warhammer sound and put on my own music, it helped. Strange.

... SO: exploring felt pretty shallow. RvR/PvP was engaging and fun. The two experiences combined... feel strange. The gap between an un-fulfilling game world and a hugely entertaining combat system makes the overall game experience a fragmented, chaotic blur. I guess we should have believed Paul Burnett: imagination is the goal, immersion really isn't.

So I have to use my imagination to fill in the gaps of disbelief forming between me and my avatar? No, Paul. The game doesn't facilitate OR encourage imagination. It bottles it, making digital hallucination fast and easy. Quick, streamlined player vs. player combat IS the central aim, and they nail it; I appreciate the game for the things it has introduced. Yet to have A+ PvP in a world that can't convince me that it matters feels shallow somehow, repetitive. It's just counter-strike from a third person perspective.

Wasteland, our server, suffered a mass exodus and we have been instructed to transfer our characters to Iron Rock. Doesn't matter too much, just another chip at the magic circle.
It's the right game for certain people. But Warhammer isn't heading in the direction I want MMORPG's to go. It's pulling the genre toward a more easily digestible, effortlessly repeatable kind of play. Bring back death penalties. Expand the game world. Give me an identity. Make things more difficult. You'll impress me, but lose a lot of your market. People like easy things. Especially easy killing."

What I haven't told them:
I signed onto Age of Conan after hitting level 18 in War. I felt: calmed, serene, beautiful, excited. No one was around, which is sad, but my avatar seemed to feel... right? Like a shower at the perfect temperature. (yes really). This game is so much better. Not because the programming is more advanced or the designers any more talented... It feels right mainly because of the way I approached and experienced it. I built a magic circle for it, made the world my own. I'll admit, I like the aesthetics better. Nothing looks as good as AOC right now. I preferred the combat.

Preferred. It seems that Age of Conan's beloved three-button combo system has been replaced with a faster, more simple 1-button system... making things easier for the masses. God damnit.
I'll be playing conan now once microsoft fixes directx 10, (you guys should be embarassed), and I'll enjoy it. I'll play.

We made Warhammer into a job. Play is beyond that sh*t. Harder to get to, harder to feel.


No comments: