Does it Work? (3 out of 5)
Yup. The game runs quite well, not perfectly, but not badly enough to interfere dramatically with your gaming.
On the server side, things have been excellent. Mythic has done a great job and I haven’t experienced (or heard about) a server crashing. There are very infrequent lag spikes that can send you back to the character selection screen, but I mean very infrequent. Downtime has been planned and involved slipping in fixes between Collector’s Edition Head Start, Pre-Order Head Start, and Launch. Some of the more crowded servers also came down to be cloned, more on that below.
The client isn’t quite as stable at the moment; particularly when loading after a death, a new zone, or a Scenario (a timed instance of Realm versus Realm combat). Sometimes the loading screen comes up and doesn’t go anywhere; the CPU, memory, and hard drive are all quiet, so the client isn’t just taking its time, it gave up. Occasionally you will be sent back to character selection or your desktop.
This is more of passing inconvenience than persistent problem, occurring maybe once every few to several hours. The infrequency of the problem combined with the client’s death usually coinciding with yours, or travel, as opposed to in the middle of combat, means it really isn’t all that frustrating.
Is It Buggy? (3 out of 5)
Meh… I wouldn’t say buggy, but there are bugs. Queuing a group for a Scenario, for instance, can require the group to split up and reform if someone in the group was already in a queue on their own. Sometimes the Tome of Knowledge overlays information from a Public Quest over your Quest Log, which can be fixed by closing and opening the Tome. There are little problems like this, but they are indeed little, not something that can really hurt the game for you seriously.
Alt-Tabbing out of the WAR window can force a crash, but not much else can. Occasionally, after loading following death or travel, certain elements of the UI may behave strangely, requiring you to restart the client. If this happened at random moments or in combat, it might be a big deal, but you usually aren’t in the middle of something when you alt-tab, and alt-enter works reliably. The other problem can be more frustrating, especially if it occurs after a death in a Scenario and it affects your ability to perform, but it usually happens if the death requires you to change areas. In most cases, you would have been running for a while to get back to the action anyways.
Clone WAAAAAAGGGH! (2 out of 5)
It appears that the problem we discussed in the last article regarding the low number of servers available at Head Start did result in crowding on some of these, but Mythic had something up their sleeve. They are “cloning” the more crowded servers:
This means they are duplicating the server’s RvR control status (who has which Keep, controls which area, etc.) and characters (along with their Tomes of Knowledge, Inventory, and so on). This gives players a chance to move to a less crowded server, but they may have to say good-bye to some friends in the process. Many people have already done this recently at the end of Beta. The process will be even more complicated for Guilds and Alliances, who have to make and co-ordinate the decisions amongst their members.
Nicely Done, Not Perfect, But Good (3 out of 5)
The 3 out of 5 represents that the game is average when it comes to avoiding stability issues and bugs. Note that this is comparing WAR to other MMOs that have been out for years, and no consideration is being made for the technically pre-release state of WAR. This game runs about as well right out of the gate as what is already out there, for which Mythic deserves a big tip of the hat.
So it runs, but so does Excel. How does it look? The next article will discuss Graphics and Art.
This post is part of the series: First Impressions of Warhammer Online: Age of Reckonning
The game is finally live, but is it any good? Read and find out.
- First Impressions of Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning – Part 1
- First Impressions of Warhammer Online – Part 2: Technical Issues
- First Impressions of Warhammer Online – Part 3: Graphics and Art
- First Impressions of Warhammer Online – Part 4: Audio
- First Impressions of Warhammer Online – Part 5: Plot and Writing
- First Impressions of Warhammer Online – Part 6: User Interface
- First Impressions of Warhammer Online – Part 7: Core Mechanics
- First Impressions of Warhammer Online – Part 8: Innovative Features
- First Impressions of Warhammer Online – Part 9: Public Quests
- First Impressions of Warhammer Online – Part 10: Servers and Bugs Redux
- First Impressions of Warhammer Online – Part 11: Conclusion