by: Tony "RadarX" Jones
Just a few short weeks ago Mythic Entertainment's Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning launched and was immediately snatched up by hundreds of thousands of fans. Riding a solid wave of press and excitement, sales have been successful and the game has had one of the most stable launches in history. With most previews are full of positivity Warhammer Online has enjoyed the spotlight for the past month even outshining announcements from Blizzard's reigning champion World of Warcraft. A question many have been asking is, "Ok, what now?" What does the immediate future hold for players and what will Mythic Entertainment do over the next few months?
The Cart! The Cart! The Cart is on Fire!
While many players have been pleased with negligible downtime and no dreaded rollbacks there seem to be a few small bugs. On their own these are just the normal every day operation of any MMOG, but put together they form a Voltron of bugs. Whether it's a disappearing White Lion or being stuck just under the terrain line, little things seem to be bothering people. Mythic has responded with a series of bug squashing patches which have attempted to improve everything from latency to client crashes. Future updates should start tackling the largest issues affecting gameplay and with content being relatively new it could be a little while before we start seeing some new areas, quests, and gear.
Solidifying existing gameplay might be pivotal to any expansion but getting the word out falls to the Public Relations and Marketing teams associated with any good media blitz. Through the next quarter we'll still see Warhammer Online in stores, ads plastered across every website you can think of, and mainstream figures like Jeff Hickman, Paul Barnett, and Josh Drescher continuing to make the rounds. Backing them up will be their community team hitting various forums and updating the Warherald as frequently as possible. This will help keep Warhammer Online fresh in the minds and hearts of players in the middle of a marketing campaign from that other company.
All that will take place in forums and magazines but what will directly impact players of the game? Population adjustments are not something they are anxious to do for obvious reasons, but might see the light of day. Queuing for the most part seems to be less of a problem than at launch so it's about putting enough people on either side to make things interesting. Most players have indicated satisfaction with the current balance of their server but in a world heavily dependent on balanced population, offering transfers and cloning servers as they've done in the past isn't that insane. It's just not ideal.
WAR is Bringing People Together!
Balanced or not however, we'll see the high end approached shortly with all out city sieges. No I don't mean the "sorta" one they had on Karak Eight Peaks where a number of mechanics were bugged and lower levels were restricted from helping defend Altdorf. We'll wait for the weeks long assault Mythic promised us and watch as one city burns while the other celebrates victory. With players finally starting to reach Tier 4, this will become more and more frequent as attackers and defenders alike struggle to maintain dominance. Tweaks will be made to mechanics and patches put in to make things as fair as possible and put Warhammer Online's endgame content to the ultimate test.
Finally, it's that time of year where we Trick or Treat, give gifts, eat turkey, and get in game snowballs to throw at each other. Will Warhammer Online stop the battle long enough to enjoy a little holiday content? It's hard to imagine you won't see a few decorated trees and wreaths in various places around Altdorf. Inevitable City doesn't seem like the kind of place who would celebrate anything but mangled corpses but you never know. It's worked in many other games, takes little in the way of development, and players absolutely eat it up. This isn't to say you should look for Halloween content in a few weeks but come December you might see a little something extra in your hotfix.
As you can see the next few months present some exciting and interesting challenges for Warhammer Online. From marketing to mechanics we can expect plenty to read about and see tons of feedback from the more vocal playerbase. There will as always be over reactions, doomsayers predicting the end of all we know, and analysts examining every move like John Madden would a football play. The rest of us will probably keep up with just enough to be dangerous and continue our enjoyment of the game.
What do you think the near future of Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning will bring?
To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Warhammer 40,000: Storm of Vengeance Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning Game Page.