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  #1  
Old 14 Nov 13, 17:09
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Warhammer Offline

As some of you may know, I have been playing this game since release. I have dedicated more hours than I probably should have leveling my characters and sending them forth to wage battle in the war which was everywhere. Now, however, that war is about to end.

From Kotaku dot com:

Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning is shutting down

"After five years of operation, the MMO branch of Games Workshop’s popular fantasy universe will be closing down. The news comes via a letter to players from producer Carrie Gouskos."

And from the official Warhammer Online website:

"Greetings Warhammer Online subscribers,

We here at Mythic have built an amazing relationship working with Games Workshop creating and running Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning over the last 8 years. Unfortunately, as with all licensing deals they do eventually come to end and on December 18th, 2013 we will no longer be operating Warhammer Online."


This news came as a bit of a shock to the game community. True, Warhammer has suffered from its share of problems, some due to bad management on the part of Mythic and others the result of self-inflicted wounds on the part of the players. We have been experiencing a shrinking player base since about two years from release. But those of us still loyal to the game thought it would survive much longer than this. As recently as this past August the game developers were still talking about new content and a possible Free to Play option. Two entire new races had been developed, simply never implemented. From reading what information has been released it is hard to tell which side made the final decision to pull the plug, Games Workshop or Mythic, but in the end the result is the same. All good things, as they say…

There are a few comments I want to make concerning this game. Warhammer Online was my first MMO game, a truth easily established by even a cursory reading of the original Warhammer Online thread still accessible here. As a long time player of both Warhammer Fantasy Battle and Warhammer 40K, the Online version seemed a natural environment to delve into, and when I did I quickly fell in love with it. The environment was rich with detail, the story line written at least with continuity, the quest system entertaining and the player versus player aspect second to none. For us loyalist truthfully this is what kept us in the game, the RvR challenge. No other MMO game out there came close to matching the Realm versus Realm combat system Warhammer Online featured. As a player I can state nothing was more fun in this game than a random encounter with an enemy player and winning that fight. Well, personally nothing was more fun than being jumped from the shadows by a Witch Elf and then killing her, unless it was those occasions where I was jumped by more than one of those dark little bitches and killing them all.

Game memories are a strange thing. They are an aspect of playing an MMO game I had not considered before entering the Warhammer Online world. I have active memories from this game of events which in reality never took place extant of the computer generated world displayed on my screen. And yet they are real memories, as easily accessible as any memory of actual life events. I find this strange, a residual of my gaming experience surprising. I suppose this is a byproduct of the immersion effect, the sensual connection made to events one has an active part in creating even if those events are occurring in a computer generated fantasy. What I did as a player in game was important in game, and therefore in that context the memory of those events are real. But then again, no. It just seems odd to me that in life I have not and will never forget a woman I once knew named Susan, while at the same time I will never forget another woman who existed exclusively in a computer generated fantasy named Yoldriana. The memories of those two are just as powerful, and as stated, I find that strange.

Truthfully I will miss this game when it is gone. Before anyone questions my sanity understand I place all of this in context. It was only a game. However, even as such there are other aspects of the game experience which, once gone, will be gone forever. There are players I have met through the game whom have become friends, and as such the loss of that shared community is, in context, sad. Not only did I play this game my children did as well. Both of my sons, Donnie and Conner, created characters of their own and ran through the world looking for a fight. Conner made his first toon at age five, and I recall watching him play his White Lion, running around the world someplace all while excitedly talking to the screen. There were occasions when my boys and I would either run with each other or fight against each other. Conner and I used to run through Altdorf or someplace like Reikland together, throwing pies and essentially playing tag. I can still hear him laugh when he would hit my toon with a Halfling or Tentacle pie. We built a family Guild, the Asmodians, and all the characters in it were our own. We were a family in game as well as out. As for Warhammer, I suppose that is what I will miss the most.

As much as I enjoyed playing Warhammer Online I can state with certainty my MMO gaming experience begins and ends here. I won’t be dedicating any more time or effort into creating a group of characters, leveling them through a world, and fighting to make them the best only to see them all vanish into the internet aether. This no longer holds any appeal. However given the time committed to my characters I feel they deserve a word.

As strange as this may sound they were like characters in a play, with me writing their lines and motivating their actions. I created them, I named them, I fought them. With them I built an in game reputation, a reputation which at one time included the honor of being the most hated and feared Swordmaster on the Badlands server. I tried to honor that reputation by playing the game well and steering clear of the in-game sniping and vitriol which can often characterize any MMO. In context of the game, my characters and the stories they told were important. Yet in the end, of course, I realize they were all full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

Still, as a parting nod I post their pictures here. They seem worthy of that. They were, in order:

Yoldriana Kyrell, matriarch of the Kyrell Clan:



Torenflys:



Karisanna:



Sharsmal:



Sistrin:



Shophie, all of the Clan Kyrell:



Miral the Assassin:



Dahalia Krist:



Loudmage Ageless:



Belphebe Fate:



I suppose if I had to choose one word to describe Warhammer Online and the experiences I am my children had with it, that word would be worthy. It was only a game, but in that context if someone is going to commit time to a game, as gamers do, then that game should at least be worthy.

Thanks for reading.
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  #2  
Old 14 Nov 13, 17:29
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It was a good game. I enjoyed my time in the setting, and would have done more if my net connection (sat dish) could have reliably delivered the bandwidth.

I understand your feelings, Martok. You wrote a story, an epic tale, and its always hard to end that. Creative work takes many forms, and your canvas was this MMO.
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Old 15 Nov 13, 23:28
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Honestly, I am surprised it lasted as long as it did. I'm also surprised that it was just 5 years. Seemed like it's been out longer than that.

Well, Martok, I felt the same way when I ended my original Everquest (game didn't die, I just moved on), and had a somewhat similar (yet lessened) feeling when I ended my WoW career as well.

I'm playing SWTOR and STO now, but can see ending those when Everquest Next finally releases.
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Old 03 Dec 13, 13:47
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Over the Thanksgiving week through today I have been ill and thus home with some time on my hands. Therefore I was able to complete one last quest associated with Warhammer Online. I ranked my primary toon up to renown rank 100, the highest level anyone can go.

Warhammer players have a habit of stating "screen shot or it didn't happen!", so in tribute:



Here is how she looks following the respecc with new armor and weapons. The RR100 Great Sword, named Skyrender, glows with the energies of the Sword of Destiny.



Ah, well. A few more days of sound and fury.
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Old 19 Dec 13, 14:25
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And So It Is Finished...

Given this was just a game I wasn't going to post here again, as I realize the interest in anything said is probably low. However on the final day of play a few events took place which were not only surprising, but left me with the sense they were worth repeating. Portions of this post will also be posted over on the official Warhammer Online forums. Please bare with me.

About a year into play I met in game a player who lived in Texas. Her real name was Kris, and I bumped into her character down in tier 2 Saphery. I was already in tier 4 but was down in the lower tiers completing a portion of a Live Event quest. She was having trouble completing a tier 2 quest and asked for my help.

One of the real problems with Warhammer Online was an inherent characteristic prevalent in a sizable portion of the player base, in that this particular sub-grouping was noted for their, using a polite term, reluctance to dedicate any of their time helping new, low-skilled, or part time players. The region and advice chat channels were often overflowing with invective targeted at "noobs" and "scrubs" without any regard for who those people may actually have been. A kid playing on their parents account, as mine often did, someone without the same amount of time to dedicate as the so-called pro players did, or a casual but interested player not defined by how many kills they happened to have over certain other players. Kris was such a player, a part-time devote who enjoyed the game but wasn't interested in obtaining bragging rights for the Warhammer forums.

I helped her with her quest, we added each other to our friends list, and over the next year of play would often team up to run quest or fight here and there. We talked to each other openly in region chat and she was an absolute laugh riot. A number of my guild mates who were active at the time routinely used to pm me making comments about how entertaining the two of us were when we were on together. She was offered a spot in the Kingsmen Guild, where my primary toon was lodged, but opted instead to join the Asmodians, my family guild mentioned in the OP.

One day Kris and I were running a city instance together. At the conclusion of stage three she neglected to opt out of the chance to win a gold bag. At the time this was important in game, as many players were trying to complete their Sovereign gear sets which only dropped in city instance gold bags. She was no where near the renown level to wear any Sovereign gear, and when she won first place to get the gold bag other players in the instance started brow-beating her so hard, to include the usual litany of name calling, their words brought her to tears.

Within a week she was gone. She sent me the passwords to her account, stating she wanted someone to have it who could make some use of it. So I did. I merged it with my EA account and kept it active. My two boys created characters there and because of that account we were often able to play the game together. But I never changed the password.

Yesterday, on the last day of the game, I was on my primary toon on my primary account fighting with Order in Eataine. I heard the notification click which meant I had a message in my in game mail. A few minutes later I left the battlefield to check the message. It was from Kris. On the last day of the game she had apparently decided to check and see if she could still access her old account. Understand, I never met this woman, I never spoke to her in real life. I only knew her through this game. Yet her message said:

"Farewell my sister, I will see you in the stilly night..."

There are two messages here. The first is she used the term sister. As can be seen from the screenshots I posted above for various reasons I chose to play all female toons. So did Kris, her primary toon known as Kristasianna, named of course after herself. She was citing the fact that in game, when we ran the world of Warhammer together, we were sisters. The second message is enshrined in the words "in the stilly night." These words are taken from a poem by Irish Poet Thomas Moore, which read in full:

"Oft, in the stilly night, Ere Slumber's chain has bound me, Fond Memory brings the light, Of other days around me."

I couldn't help but be moved. I don't really know much of who Kris was in real life, as I said I never actually met her and made no effort to. This was simply two gamers playing a game together. But the fact she felt either the need or desire to enter the game on its final day and send me such a message is...well...truly amazing. It is an aspect of an MMO game which again, I never would have expected.

Kris also sent me a screenshot via e-mail. I thought I would post it here, as another message is embedded in it:



Here Kris is standing on one of the great bridges which span the valleys of Dragonwake. The Destruction keep of Covenant of Flame is in the background. It was here her toon reached level rank 40 one night we were both on and in the same Warband.

Well...

The second event which I again found surprising in context of where it occurred, in an MMO game, followed a bit after receiving the message from Kris. Another long-time player in the game was an Archmage known as Fromtheus. We were in the same guild for five years and came up through the realms together. Over the last two year of Warhammer Online we often teamed up to run scenarios or just go hunting. He tracked me down on the last day for one last fight together.

In real life Fromtheus is known as Ian, and him I have communicated with outside of the game. He is a good guy, but recently suffering because of the termination of a long term relationship, one which included the real potential for marriage. This breakup obviously had a real impact on him, and there were times in game I was worried about the guy, wondering if he would make it. The day before the game ended Ian asked me to run the Bastion Stair with him. At a point in that instance you have to fight a demon boss mob named Carno-something. Ian told me in chat Carny was the nickname of his ex-fiance. He was here to exercise more than one demon.

On the final day of the game about 90 minutes or so from shutdown Fromtheus and I were in Eataine doing what we were good at doing, killing Destruction players. It was a fitting final fight:



As players the community only received a one minute notification of final closure. We all felt Mythic was just tired of the whole ordeal and collectively, well, that is whoever is left of them, couldn't wait to pull the plug. However during that minute I received a PM from Fromtheus. He said:

"It was an honor playing with you for the last five years."

To which I replied:

"The honor was mine."

To me, in one sense the nature of these two events are hopelessly oxymoronic. This was a game. And yet not. The people who played were, of course, real, with real feelings and real connections to this game which, again, was not a factor I had ever considered when entering into my first MMO experience. I can't say exactly why Kris chose to send me that message, other than to assume our time in game together was important to her on a level I had never considered. When Ian got dumped, which is what happened, I recall nights where he would drink himself into oblivion, characterized by his toon suddenly running off in one direction until it either crashed into some impassable terrain or was run down by computer mobs. I recall other nights talking with him about his recent troubles and trying to convince him his world wasn't destroyed. And then we would go into a fantasy world and destroy everything in sight.

For me this game was fun, something I enjoyed doing because it was fun. It allowed me an opportunity to spend time in escape from the trials of everyday life and time with my children. But I believe for both Kris and Ian, this game was therapy. There was some further attachment to it which resonated in their lives at a level beyond how it resonated in mine. I suppose the bottom line here is, if our time in game together was beneficial to these two real life people, then that makes the time spent there all the more worthy.

Of my own toon I took one last screen shot. During the final hour of the game I detached myself from the war and rode from Fell Landing, the northern most point accessible in the realms of the High Elves, all the way through the entire realm to the original Elf player spawn point. There I took this picture:



Wearing the banner of the Kingsmen, looking into the void of which we were all just moments away from being cast into.

If any of them should read this, to my fellow players of Warhammer Online I say thanks for the memories, and walk well.
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Old 19 Dec 13, 19:32
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Old 23 Dec 13, 15:01
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Great series of posts. I've only played MMOs sporadically, mainly due to not having a very beefy system, but I understand the sentiment, having been involved in gaming for years. Especially the old-school, text-based worlds.

It's a feeling that people who don't do things like this will never fully understand, the sense of community and camaraderie...these people aren't real, and yet they are. Some of them, we get the chance to meet in real life, and some are just data and ideas that exist somewhere else in the world, but we know them all the same, and, in some cases, grow up with them.

I think of the gaming friends I've made over the years, and though the games are long gone into the sunset, and I've only kept ahold of a very few of those friendships, they are still very real...we've gone from talking about getting driver's licenses to going to college to getting married to turning 30.

Anyway...
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Old 16 Feb 14, 09:54
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Wow. Thank you. I created this account to say that. I was browsing the interwebs reminiscing about WAR when I stumbled on this post. Well said, I'm glad you posted your thoughts even though it sounded like you were hesitant. This is exactly what I needed to read tonight.

These games CAN mean more than just a distraction. And they are therapy for many people. Its an opportunity for a new you, a clean slate, a way to meet new people and be a part of something bigger while maintaining some anonymity.

Its a great feeling to lead a group of random players at a keep defense into a successful victory over a much larger attacking force. Or running around with your guild twelve deep and massacring warbands. Or flying solo and taking out a group.

It was a great game and ill miss it. I also feel that there is no other MMo that will capture this, and as badly as I want to look for a replacement, I think I'll just be content with my fond memories of this game and the people I shared that time with.

Goodbye WAR

Shout outs:

Phoenix Throne
Gorgang
Redtah
Skrigg
Twerpie
Vak
Memon
Jostle
Ardz
Trod
Katikk

And the guilds I ran with:

Prophets of Malal
Drakulverne

Krensh, level 40 black Orc(and slayer)

I got my sovereign, thats all i ever wanted. That beautiful tusked helm. I was epic and evil and it was great.
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Old 16 Feb 14, 13:04
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Thanks for posting, Cosmic, I appreciate it.

Since the game closed down I have made no real effort to find another MMO to play. Two reasons account for this, the first, as previously stated, being a lack of desire to devote time into building characters simply to see them vanish. The second is as you said, there is nothing else out there which I feel captures the essence of Warhammer Online.

My STO account is still active, and once in a while I piddle with that. But otherwise I spend my time on other matters.

You must have been on a server other than the Badlands. Yet one name I recall from your list is Ardz.

Warhammer Online was fun. I mean, where else could you get into a fight with a group of these in a place like that?



Nice to hear from another player. Again, thanks for posting.
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Old 18 Feb 14, 00:43
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Well, the wife and I have jumped back into WoW...at least until EQ Next comes out.

SWTOR is on hold for a while. I do have my account from STO, but it's a free one and I don't do much with it except when I get the itch to fly some starships around.
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Old 18 Feb 14, 01:31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hida Akechi View Post
I do have my account from STO, but it's a free one and I don't do much with it except when I get the itch to fly some starships around.
That is about it. I may log onto it about once a week. Trying to run the Romulan campaign but so far it seems they have turned the Romulans into a bunch of farmer naturalist. Except for the Tal Shiar, or course.
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Old 26 May 16, 03:08
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Martok has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Martok has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Martok has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Martok has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Martok has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Martok has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Martok has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Martok has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Martok has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Martok has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Martok has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Martok has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Martok has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Martok has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Martok has achieved enlightenment [1200+]
My son has given me a very thoughtful and heartfelt gift.

Since my retirement last year I have been searching for ways to fill those hours of my day not dedicated to home and family. As anyone who read over this thread may recall, I previously stated that when Warhammer Online finally closed down I would never again devote any serious time to another MMO game. And I haven't. I have piddled now and then with Star Trek Online, and played a bit of Neverwinter. But nothing serious in online gaming pursuits.

A few nights ago my son saw me sitting at my computer watching an old Youtube video from the glory days of Warhammer Online, a video my primary toon happened to be featured in. Through my headphones I heard him speaking with my wife, but couldn't tell what they were saying.

The next day, after returning home from walking our dog, I found my son waiting beside my computer with a big smile on his face. He said:

"Day, I have a surprise for you."

As you have probably guessed, that surprise was:



I sat down and logged in, and I couldn't believe it. It was the game, in all its glory. Just as I remembered.

There is only one server, but it is highly populated. This scale of combat is typical:



Not all content is yet present and the game has its share of bugs, but the basics are all in place. The RvR and PvP battles are as intense as they ever were. Once again I have taken to the field of battle to wage war for the Empire. Already I have made my mark, racking up a body count of over fifty Witch Elves in just two days. Not to mention that three-on-one battle I won just about an hour ago. A Witch Elf, a Black Ork, and a Marauder. Heh...

It may seem a small, inconsequential thing. But for my son to find this server, run out of Russia, and set the game up for me was truly touching. I am having fun, an absolute blast. My son Conner has recreated his primary character, and Donnie is promising to download the game onto his computer so we can once again all fight together. Just like old times.

As of yet I have only encountered one guy I used to routinely run with back in the day. I don't know if any of the others are there, or if they will ever return to the game. But it doesn't matter. I'm back:

__________________
QamuIs Heg qaq law' lorvIs yInqaq puS

(Better to die on your feet than live on your knees)

Last edited by Martok; 26 May 16 at 12:27..
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