Thursday, October 02, 2008
Silence isn't disapproval
I am very aware that in the last weeks I have written a lot about Warhammer Online, and very little about World of Warcraft, except as point of reference. There are two reasons for that: Writing about the new game is more fun, and the news about WoW currently aren't reliable. If I had gotten around to write about the WoW honor point wipe, I would now have had to write about how that wipe has been cancelled. I already did write about how Deathknights are far better in soloing than Warriors, but can't tank in group, only to see that change with every beta patch. Anything you read right now about patch 3.0 or Wrath of the Lich King could very well be not true any more tomorrow. So waiting until the patch and then the expansion actually come out, playing them, and reporting about how they are is more my style than getting all huffed about beta changes that never make it into a release version.
But my silence about World of Warcraft and extensive discussion of Warhammer Online should in no way be interpreted as me liking WAR more than WoW. Both games have their good and their bad sides. I am having great fun in WAR when I'm in a large group doing public quests or RvR. But when I'm soloing I actually like WoW better, and I also like the WoW dungeons more than the WAR version. Also the current version of WoW (not the beta or PTR) is infinitely more bug free than the current version of WAR. I play WAR now because it is new and shiny, and not a bad game. But unless Blizzard is having major release problems, on November 13 I will play Wrath of the Lich King. Because then *that* will be new and shiny, and not a bad game.
I am happy that WAR sold half a million copies in the first week, and is well on their way to sell over a million by year's end. I am happy because monopolies are principally bad for customers, and we all profit from Blizzard having some viable competition. But I'm not naive enough to see WAR as a "WoW killer". I won't be the only one running after new and shiny. There *will* be a significant decrease in WAR players mid-November, with many people rushing back to WoW. How things will develop in 2009 is anyone's guess, and I don't worry about it yet. It will be interesting to see both games develop, trying to iron out their weaknesses and building on their strengths. Has WoW improved its endgame? How fun is the raid-free WAR endgame in comparison? I'm looking forward to finding all that out. Getting all religious and proclaiming one game the true god, while condemning the other, isn't really me. I find good things in most games, and never fail to see the bad sides too. I don't even expect to ever see the perfect game. A large choice of good games is all I can hope for, so I'm pretty happy right now.