April 29, 2009

Warhammer Blows

Mythic, attempting to fight another forest fire for Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning, have come up with the the Winds of Change.
The goal of this system is to ensure the best Open Realm vs. Realm experience for as many people as possible and to prevent server crashes. Overall, this system will only take effect in the most extreme server load situations, and will only happen as a last measure before the zone would actually crash.

In order to accomplish this goal "The Winds of Change" will now teleport a small number of players in Realm vs. Realm lakes to the closest "safe point" when crowds are large enough to threaten the stability of the server. This will generally be the nearest Warcamp, however, it may also be a Chapter Hub within the zone depending on where performance is being impacted the most.
Interesting solution, but any solution that doesn't address the root of a problem is going to face criticism.

Server stability is a fundamental of an MMOG. When there are issues, development needs to come to a screeching halt and all resources need to be redirected to evaluate the stability/performance issues. Mythic has continually shown the opposite, opting to steamroll develop new content in the face of continually worsening performance.

Maybe, Mythic does have all cylinders firing on the problem, but what little they tell the community shows no signs of it and in the case of announcing something like the Winds of Change, one has to wonder if Mythic is taking the problem seriously.

Personally, if this system stays in the game, it nails the door shut on any chances that I would play WAR again.

Update: 29 April, 2009 - As Werit pointed out in the comments, the Winds of Change have been retracted.
After reviewing the metrics and community feedback Mythic have removed the Winds of Change feature from Dark Crag. - Nilax, English Community Manager