The pendulum swings: Is Warhammer about to crash?

A week ago, the gaming blog-o-sphere was rife with posts talking about how much fun Warhammer Online is. Everyone (I’m speaking figuratively here) was RvRing and questing and PQing and having a grand old time. Now, not so much. Blogger after blogger are putting up posts expressing concern with the leveling rate or the leveling style or the lack of depth in the game.

These are people who have played the game for a few weeks and are basing their posts on real and significant experience, so I’m not going to disagree with them one bit; we all come at these games with our own expectations and desires. A lot of people seem to be just killing time for the new WoW Expansion as much as anything, and there’s much doom and gloom about how Warhammer will be a ghost town when Lich King launches.

I can’t deny this makes me sad, because they may be right.

I also have to admit I was feeling a wee bit of burnout/excess grindiness earlier this week, after I spent Monday and Tuesday nights playing all evening (and having fun, I might add). My personal poison is PQ Grinding. Like everyone else, I’m finding it harder and harder to find groups to do PQs with; and I don’t feel comfortable skipping them since my character is so dependent on the gear we get as Influence Rewards. Killing Easy rated mobs over and over for 100 Influence each gets kind of dull. And as soon as you finish one, you literally are directed to the next one and have to start all over again. It feels endless.

I’m bored with Scenarios as well, but those I can safely ignore since I can get Renown via open world RvR (which is wicked fun); the only way to get influence rewards is to do PQs.

But a funny thing happened on the way to the weekend. I barely played at all Wednesday, and Thursday I didn’t log in until after 10. Not having a lot of time before bed, I figured I’d just grind some Influence and hit the hay. It felt good to step back into the shoes of my Witch Hunter, and I just started running around, knocking the dust off my gear and making sure I hadn’t forgotten any skills or anything. And instead of grinding Influence, I got caught up in a quest to find a stolen chest. This ended up being the first step of a “treasure map” kind of quest. Each step gave a clue as to where to find the next step. And it was a lot of fun.

I had to log soon after, but now I find myself counting down the minutes until I can get out of here and start the weekend. I don’t know how long this will last…I might be starting to feel the burnout again by the end of the night. I can never predict these things. It was just weird to almost grudgingly log in last night, and then end up being really happy to be in-game.

Some small part of me *wants* to get burned out on Warhammer, to be honest. There’re a bunch of single player games incoming that I really want to play, and there’s the Mines of Moria expansion for LOTRO set to arrive on Nov. 18th. Will I contribute to the ghost town-ification of Warhammer Online?

I just don’t know. I’m going to play while I’m having fun, and stop playing when I’m not. These are games, after all. If they aren’t fun, there’s no point in playing them.

To the bloggers who’re leaving, I sincerely hope you find a game that you find enjoyable, and thanks for helping to make Warhammer enjoyable during the time you were in-world with the rest of us.

Fat Thursday at PSN

Wow, huge PSN update today. We’ve got Wipeout HD for $20, Megaman 9 for $10, GEON Emotions also for $10, and Burnout Paradise for $30. Plus the usual assortment of add-on content (for Buzz! & Soul Calibur this week) and Rock Band songs, game videos, demos of NBA 09 and Megaman. Just a huge update.

I finally pulled the trigger on Burnout Paradise. When the game first came out I played the demo and liked it, but I didn’t like it $60 worth. When it hit $40 on sale I was really tempted but still held out. Now, for $30, and all the additional content they’ve released for is since release, and no need to scrabble around looking for a game disk when I get the urge to play, I figured it was time.

Unfortunately the PSN network isn’t ever superfast for me, and tonight it’s seeming extra special slow. I started the download but don’t expect it’ll be done before bedtime tonight. Oh well. Guess I’ll have to log in to WAR! 🙂

WAR arrives

So today is the day that (hopefully) Collector’s Edition pre-orders get to start playing Warhammer Online. Originally the servers were going to open at 7 am, but that’s already been delayed once to 1 pm. Five hours to transition from Open Beta to Launch? I’m anticipating another delay personally.

But WAR *is* coming, and I’ve waited for this day, in a sense, since last February. And now it is here and…

…I’m feeling rather apathetic.

And I’m not sure why. I’ve been playing a lot of LOTRO lately and it could be I’ve just burned out my MMORPG desire. It could be that playing Spore has reminded me of how enjoyable it is to play a game where I can just start up the game and *play* without spending a lot of time traveling or looking for a group. It could be the emphasis on voice chat with my new guild, Casualties of War (and my LOTRO guild). Neither requires voice chat, but both strongly recommend it. Which means most people will use it, which means written chat will be silent. I dislike voice chat in my games, but that’s a topic for another post. But I spent a lot of time yesterday screwing around with various microphone set-ups and Ventrillo options and thinking “This is not fun. This is another hassle to add to my life. Why the hell am I doing this to myself?”

Anyway the one reason I know isn’t true is the game itself. I haven’t played WAR in about a month now and I left it ‘hungry for more’ and the anticipation has been building since. Maybe it’s been building too much. Maybe I short-circuited my internal hype-ometer. But I remember the first Christmas when my mother had to come and get me out of bed because I was more interested in sleeping more than opening a bunch of presents, and this morning feels a bit the same way…