Tuesday, October 19, 2010

EA Louse takes on Mythic

The EA Louse rant about Mythic and Warhammer Online is a bit hard to swallow in one chunk. It merits reading over and over, then reading all the sometimes vitriolic comments responding to it.

First, the EA Louse is an anonymous soon-to-be-former employee of Mythic, so he or she has an ax to grind. He stands on a thin thread by complaining before he is officially let go. He should be worried that he will be found out before the pink slip arrives. His bridge-burning rant guarantees he is leaving. He is grousing about bosses in a personal way, not necessarily in a professional way. If I were an employer looking for a graphic artist in the gaming industry, I probably would not hire EA Louse because he or she is complaining too much and would end up trying to undermine my company. If you work for a company, you do not necessarily do things that you want, as if you were an artist expressing himself like Vincent Van Gough. An artist can do that if he wants to, but not working for a company. To a certain degree, an artist has to work on a team and do what the project demands, or even what the boss demands. The artist does have a say in what the project is, but if what he wants is not accepted, he has to do as the team wants and not whine about not being able to get his own way. Believe me, I have experienced the same problems working for newspapers all my life. I very seldom get my own way creatively and have learned to stick up for what I feel is right, but I know when to compromise and back down.

Second, Warhammer Online is not dead and is not in danger of dying. Mythic has a following that is larger than many online MMO games. Instead of free-to-play, Mythic offers the "endless free trial" to new or returning players who want to maintain a level cap of 10. At least they can try it out. Mythic has been merging servers until it is down to four in North America, but some online games, like Darkfall or Dawntide, have only one. I am now reading that some players are coming back for the second anniversary of Warhammer's founding. No online game can expect to have as many subscribers as World of Warcraft, or even StarCraft II or Diablo III. If I was in the game business, I would be happy with my successes and not wallow in my failures.

Third, I found that Warhammer Online is an enjoyable, balanced game, and the developers were interested in ironing out the problems as they came up. I admit the PvE content was a bit short because it did not hold much interest for me, but I really enjoyed the PvP instances and the RvR groups. One blogger suggested a third faction, but I don't agree. The rivalry is more intense in the one-on-one factions.

Finally, I could criticize how the game was promoted using the "British guy," who made me think the game was European, but I would come back to Warhammer Online if I could only stop playing World of Warcraft. I can't afford both.

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