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Karl The Pagan
my Warhammer Online review (obviously part 1)
I haven't read many of the reviews of WAR or WAR vs WoW. It's an MMO and they deserve some time to get it right.

So let me be honest... this is WAR vs WOW review - I have no other options. If this game were terrible I wouldn't even spend the time to address its flaws.

But I like this game, and I want it to work. It has some high-level goals that blow Warcraft out of the water. So I'm going to sign up for a 180-day subscription and give it all the time that I need to decide if I want to max-out this game like I'm trying to do with WoW. There are some flaws and gems, as follows:

1. Asking for elevated privileges (Vista UAC) every time it launches is really disturbing. Blizzard has the download/update/patch idea down pat. I can run the game in normal privileges and ALL of my character settings and even my addons and screenshots end up in my user / local settings / virtual store WHICH IS WHERE THEY SHOULD BE. I will do some finer technical evaluation here, but just requiting elevated privileges to check your files isn't acceptable at all. I don't blame Microsoft for shitty UAC warnings, I blame the software makers because they should know better.
WAR << WoW

2. WTF is this loading trailer shit? Every time? Minor annoyance. Make it a menu item.

3. WTF WTF ... EULA scrolldown, check, and "ok" every time I login? This better be a bug. WTF EVEN WHEN RECONNECTING FROM A DISCONNECT. ARE YOU FUCKING SERIOUS?
WAR <<<<<< WoW

4. Very limited graphical quality options. I want to run this game like I run WoW: windowed mode maximized at the native resolution. My 8800M stutters frequently at 1900x1400 and I don't have the graphics options available that I think I need to make it smooth without losing too much detail. (i.e. manipulating FSAA and Aniso options) GIVE ME AN ADVANCED WINDOW THAT'S ACTUALLY ... YOU KONW... ADVANCED

5. But really... the graphics so far are ok... There are some terrains and areas that are just a little under-detailed or a little... 90's esque. Things that remind me of user-made FPS maps and Diakatana. BUT the majority of it is terrificly detailed and has a look & feel like I think it should have.

6. Questing: Public Quests are totally awesome... unless you're the ONLY ONE PLAYING THEM, still a really great concept tho! They should make NPC stand-ins to play PQ's with you 24/7. Public Quests are mostly far superior to instances. At the very worst you'll have to look for groups to grind the PQ's. Not a bad tradeoff.
WAR >> WoW

7. The quest interface in general is great. HOWEVER, finding named quest mobs... NOT EASY. Frustrating. I use WoW addons to solve this problem. Put the kill count in the mob tooltips! UPDATE: there's also little visual distinction between normal mobs and your *target* mobs. Take the first named kill quest in Greenskin Chapter 2. I'm supposed to kill a dryad or something, and it looks almost completely identical to all the little trash mobs that wander around it. Nice work keeping your theme at the expense of gameplay.
WAR == WoW

8. Minimap & Questing interface are usually fantastic, with my WoW play patterns fully ingraned I kept trying to re-sort and figure out which quests I was going to do so which quests I should put on my tracking list... but then I realized hey... just look at the red colored areas in the map.

9. Early gear progression... it's at least interesting for Black Orc, and some of the PQ rep reward options they give you teach you about the game mechanics: i.e. you are squishy as hell without a shield! In WoW you don't learn shit at early levels.

10. Level 1. You know how in AD&D 3rd edition you're a silly little 6hp rogue and almost anything in the game can 1-shot you? This is the evolution of gaming that moves far enough away from that that it is finally closer to some fantastic version of reality and not frustrating, boring, or stupid (thereby letting the fun of the game come out). Your power level relative to the lowest trash mob is as if you were a level 5 AD&D 3rd edition character, or even a level 3 4th edition character, or a level 8 Warcraft character. No bullshit levels here.
WAR >> WoW

11. Achievements and Tome Unlocks. Achievements are (aside from the obvious WoW-like achievements) things like dying 10 times, clicking on yourself 25 times before seeing "click thru player" in the interface options, and discovering new map areas. They give you tiny little exp bonuses that are satisfying but not overkill. Just like map discovery in WoW. Tome Unlocks are achievements that give you titles or other goodies I haven't seen yet. Both are fantastic and really take everything we've learned about the gaming reward/addiction system and perfected it. WoW achievements are few and pitiful in comparison.
WAR >>> WoW

12. Crafting (Cultivation in particular). I kindof like it. Better than picking flowers in WoW. Do you know where I bet they got this idea? Disney's Toon Town (UPDATE: EXCEPT IT TRAVELS WITH YOU! GENIUS!). Great artists steal great ideas. Good job here.

12. Inventory management: there's a lot missing here. It's good that quest items don't use up bag space, but trash items are never usable and don't auto-sell. This part of WAR is stupid and boring. Also I use GarbageFu in WoW to help me decide what items to drop when my inventory gets full. This part of WAR is stupid and boring and unnecessarily tedious.
WAR <<< WoW

13. Connection stability. The servers by and large were fine for the time I played. My connection by comparison isn't so fine.

This game has its own physical hints about lag and connection stability, but I don't see a user interface ping feedback. There is no alt-f4 for those "well I'm disconnected but I'm done playing for now" times that I frequently have (like now when I didn't logoff, got in the car and am writing my review, having this monstrous application sucking my battery life down). Also... I don't freaking care if my corpse is standing there for 20 seconds after I log. I just want to get the fuck out of here. I shouldn't have to have server connectivity to quit this application. Blizzard fixed this annoyance years ago.
WAR << WoW
10 comments or Leave a comment
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 19th, 2008 08:20 pm (UTC) (Link)

(except maybe this one)
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 19th, 2008 08:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ha, good review, I totally agree with some of the niggling little faults - EULA, loading crap, 20 second log out WTF CAN THESE NOT BE FIXED WITH A 2 SECOND PATCH?

Never mind advanced graphic options, how about a single god damn anti aliasing option? Sharp pointy pixels hurt my eyes.

I actually think the titles thing is a bit overdone. Every six seconds I seem to have earned a new title. WTF.

Thanks for the review :)

karlthepagan From: karlthepagan Date: September 20th, 2008 12:01 am (UTC) (Link)
I really like "Ow My Eye"... who needs another title?
poetmatt From: poetmatt Date: September 20th, 2008 11:39 am (UTC) (Link)

umm, retarded?

Vista UAC is your own fault. That is not the game's fault at all.

Try using, I don't know, linux or windows XP, and you won't have the mistake of vista that defines UAC (it is a real problem and a vulnerability).

EULA scrolldown= to be patched

Warhammer inventory = I don't know if they will allow addons for this game, if they do, then we'll see where that goes. Honestly dude wow didn't come out with all these addons that played for you, if you are asking for that, it makes you sound a bit arrogant to say it nicely.
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 21st, 2008 01:39 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: umm, retarded?

I think that saying he shouldn't use Windows Vista is kind of messed up. How else are we supposed to run Direct X 10? Last I had checked (it wasn't recently but mreh) it didn't work on anything but Vista. So sorry but I do kind of have to defend the OP for that one. And I tend to agree that the UAC problem is the games fault as none of my other games do that...

Thank god for the EULA thing that makes me happy. I have to agree with the having to let the game start up with all of the company names and the animation video being kind of annoying. I mean come on please can I have a way to turn it off?

I do happen to agree with Poet that WoW didn't come out with these addons you are talking about either so mreh. I can't take it away from Warhammer from being the same way. Also I won't call you arrogant or anything like that but wouldn't it be best to learn how to play the game before you get addons that do everything for you?
karlthepagan From: karlthepagan Date: September 22nd, 2008 05:51 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: umm, retarded?

My whole point is not that the addons should exist, but that IMO the trash items shouldn't exist at all. They don't make the game more fun after the first 3 hours.
karlthepagan From: karlthepagan Date: September 22nd, 2008 05:46 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: umm, retarded?

in the parlance of wow idiots: "ur retarded" if you're a channer: "NO U"

If I thought you were capable I would invite you to debate the merits and flaws of UAC, but with your outburst here I'm not going to waste my time to reevaluate you on those marks. The Symantec published UAC vulnerability specifies that a generic escalation of privileges by a legacy NT management application allows arbitrary 3rd party code to execute and look like it is published by Microsoft Windows.

That is a UAC vulnerability that Microsoft put in because they were too lazy to rewrite their NT management utilities for Vista.

Yet again, this NT management utility which is a client application of the operating system. It should go through more appropriate methods to escalate the application's privileges ONLY WHEN NECESSARY (like the Blizzard patcher) and then completely terminate the escalated context (usually the application, but the programming model lets it be an isolated process IIRC) when those privileges are not needed (the Blizzard patcher actually fails in this regard).

The fact that the Mythic patcher follows the same flawed escalation pattern that the NT management utilities do (with the exception that they don't load 3rd party content) only reinforces my contention that other software makers must avoid that pattern at all costs. Of course without looking into my background you've assumed I'm a Microsoft fanboy and never touched something as complex as Linux with Cedega or that I could possibly have helped support Cedega and Codeweavers.

If you don't understand Vista or the concept of system privileges I'm not going to educate you. Just try to come up with a solid reason why a software maker (Mythic) should not be held to the same standards of quality that another software maker (Blizzard) has shown us are possible.

Since you began your post addressing a possible mental defect on my part I will simply invite others to gaze at your journal and decide whether your 20-something angsty poetry is indicative of a hidden depth or simply the delayed termination of your own adolescence. (Did you see what I did there? I actually called you retarded. Because it's true.)

p.s. please tell more racist jokes

Edited at 2008-09-22 05:59 pm (UTC)
poetmatt From: poetmatt Date: September 22nd, 2008 06:14 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: umm, retarded?

lol a pot shot on my screenname with a 4chan reference? I'm amused you actually looked through my old posts and neglected how old they are.

As I said in my second post, I was not trying to insult you. I realized the comment didn't sound in the fashion I Was trying to bring forth.

Assumed I was a Microsoft fanboy? Come now, if I wanted to call you a moron or a putz I Would have done so.. I just posted my backtrace of warhammer online on bugzilla (designerfx = me). I almost didn't buy the game because of their comments about they have no plans to support Linux. They could corner the entire market if they had support for it right now, especially as the game looks (Even amidst its instabilities)

Also, never never never did I want to insinuate that I thought EAMythic is in the clear. I suspect a lot of this is because of the EA part, and I am pissed about it too. The only part I would truly defend right now, is that there are no addons yet. Do you really expect addons on day one of a product? I don't remember wow's addon bonanza starting that early, and War already shows potential for some UI modding basic structure-wise.

So no, I don't like EA, I kinda like mythic, but mythic (not EA) is a hell of a lot better as a company morals-wise than Blizzard is. turd sandwich/douche. Vote or die :D

karlthepagan From: karlthepagan Date: September 22nd, 2008 06:47 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: umm, retarded?

I don't care about the addons.

Item 12 is about inventory management being needless busywork.

I have used addons to eliminate a useless waste of time and inventory hassle in WoW: selling garbage items. Why are garbage items such an integral part to this game?

I'll address the core problems of addons (UI customization etc) at the appropriate time.

Few games do what id software and Blizzard have done with addons. It is a very difficult thing to do and I can't hold any game company to the strict requirement that they MUST support addons. However, if they want to bridge the gap between a great game, and the best gaming environment ever they will need to address the addon & modification requirement.

Edited at 2008-09-22 06:50 pm (UTC)
shauk From: shauk Date: September 22nd, 2008 07:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'll be sticking to WoW, be sure to review WotLK when it comes out, the beta is just downright impressive.
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