Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Circle-Jerking: The WAR PvP Video

Cameron started it. As did that one dude at the Game/Life blog whose name I cannot for the life of me remember (and I'm too lazy to hunt down right now). Then Scott of Dungeon Run added some more fuel, which Heartless tried to douse with his own opposing take on the whole thing.

I love these topics. I love how they spider their way around the Metropoblog that we all congregate in. It really is a fantastic sight to behold. But why am I writing this, you ask? Well... I'd like to join in on the fun, of course. I usually try to find something of my own to write about, but when you're not really playing any games that are blogging material it becomes hard to find a topic of your own. So, I think it's time I coattail it a bit myself. There's plenty to talk about on this one anyway.

The topic in question is of course the most recent video from EA Mythic's monthly Warhammer Newsletter. As the host of the video, Paul Barnett says, it shouldn't be taken as indicative of the way PvP will actually play out in WAR, but rather it's just something they threw together for the newsletter. I get that.

I also get that Warhammer came long before World of Warcraft. In fact, it's long been the buzz that Blizzard was originally using the Warhammer universe for Warcraft, only to lose the rights to the IP and so they went on with Orcs and Humans by themselves. It's known by most geeks like us that Warcraft is ripped from Warhammer, or based on it at least.

That doesn't change the fact that this video presents a game that appears in its 1 minute of "Glory" to be very reminiscent of WoW. I know, I know... that's only smart business on EA Mythic's part. As much as I want something new and exciting (please, oh please, let AoC be that), there's no denying that sticking to established trends and mechanics works in the games industry. Through iteration and evolution we see improvements, and hardly if ever through sheer re-working of the medium.

But I think it's safe to say that those of us looking forward to Warhammer could have done without this "One Minute of Glory" and instead would have been better served by some of the more dynamic PvP functions we've been told about and shown in trade show demos. I want to see the Orcapault. I want to see the trolls hurling rocks on the players from cliffs.

I know that EA Mythic has plenty to work on without worrying about how their monthly snippets of video are received. But really, it's the video that gives us the best look at a game before we finally get our own hands on it. Warcraft argument aside, this little teaser did nothing to make me want to play the game. Because it was so very similar to everything else on the market. It would have been better to leave it out entirely and instead just make sure people check out that 30 minute behemoth of a podcast.

THAT is where the goods are. Forget about this piddly video. It shows us nothing other than what we've all known these many months. Warhammer ON THE SURFACE is borrowing a lot from WoW, DAoC, EQ, and any other Fantasy MMO you can name. Big surprise.


wilhelm2451 said...

The video turned out to be ironically effective.

I saw it and dismissed it as fluff not worth mentioning, but then somebody dared make the "looks like WoW" comparison, a tempest erupted in the teapot, and suddenly the video became a big deal... to an incredibly small group of people.

But that was more play than it deserved, so score one for EA I guess.

Bildo said...

Definitely. They just figured, "Hey! Let's show some characters fighting and stuff since we have way better things to be doing this close to launch." and they wound up with a bunch of people in the MegaBlag chatting about it and arguing over it.

Press was starting to wane a bit too... nicely done, EA. Hehe.

Keen said...

WAR? Looks like WoW? HERESY I TELL YOU! /beat dead horse

It was a video showing scripted NPCs fighting for the sake of showing scripted NPCs fighting.

The real irony here is that scripted NPCs fighting reminded people of WoW.

If that's not funny I don't know what is.

Bildo said...

I never thought of it that way, Keen... but that's a mighty good observation. What's that say about the big gorilla when something lame reminds us of it? :)

marnie said...

i dont wish conan and warhammer to fail, because i want them all to succeed in some degree. why ? because if there is more successful MMO, there will be more competition between developers and we as customer benefits from that. why do you think INTEL selling their quad core cpu so cheap ? because of AMD. why AMD sell their cpu so cheap nowadays ? because intel beat them in performance.. and so on and so on. single monolitic company with no competition will stop innovating and stagnating (read:LAZY), WoW is one example.