Rant: Warhammer RvR Population Capped!

Rant: Warhammer RvR Population Capped!

Mythic released an announcement on the WAR Herald today that I find stunning.  Here are some excerpts from the announcement:

“When the Fortress population reaches certain population thresholds, players who are attempting to enter the area of the besieged Fortress that are Rank 35 and below will be teleported to the warcamp for the region they are in. When the next area population threshold has been met, players that are Rank 37 and below will be teleported to the warcamp. The final population threshold applies to players that are Rank 39 and below. Once the total population cap has been met for the area surrounding the Fortress, all players that attempt to enter the area will be teleported back to the region’s warcamp.”

“Because of the strategic advantage that players will always have when defending a Fortress, the attacking forces will have a numeric advantage when attempting to wrest control of a Fortress from the opposing realm.”

“The purpose of this change is twofold: to improve server stability, and allow even more players to participate in, and benefit from, capital city sieges.”

Now I know some fans of the game and Mythic are trying to spin this into a good thing, but take a step back a moment and think about what is going on.  This game was marketed as a massive RvR game.  The servers are capable of holding thousands of players online at the same time.  Did it not occur to anyone at Mythic during the design phase of Warhammer Online that most of a servers online population of several thousand players would be in Tier 4 at any given moment?  It also seems they are prematurely stacking the population numbers in favor of the attackers.  Can someone explain how capping the population levels will allow even more players to participate?

Mythic finally seems to be admitting what the rest of us knew all along.  Their servers simply can’t handle massive amounts of people fighting in one area at the same time.  Fortress sieges have often times led to the crashing of zones and servers leaving both side throwing their hands up in frustration.  Just like the Contribution System debacle, they are sending out their PR monkeys to try and make their subscribers feel better about the fact that the game was launched fundamentally flawed.

The question going forward now is where is this going to end?  Forums are stirring with speculation over whether or not instancing will be an inevitable step to stop the servers from crashing, or if Mythic can really do something on the hardware end of this problem to make their game work as advertised.  Even if instancing does not happen, capping the population on participation in a siege will make Warhammer Online’s fortress sieges not much different than those found in Age of Conan (which is not a good thing).

The fact that they are trying to spin this by saying “to allow even more players to participate” by capping population in a given area only makes me feel better about pulling my guild out of this game.  I’ll be waiting for the flames from Warhammer fans.


Co-Leader of Inquisition



  1. I think one of the bigger problems that resulted in many crashes on Dark Crag was that certain guilds would flood the Fort Sieges with hundreds of lowbie chars that served no purpose in the fortress defense except to help crash the server.

    By allowing more players to participate, I think they actually mean ACTIVELY participate, not just stand around spamming emotes or AoE abilities for the purpose of crashing the server.

    I might find this change to be less of a kick in the nards because I prefer smaller group combat. Even the notion of 1000vs1000 makes my skin itch. Zerg vs. Zerg circle-jerking is in no-way fun for me. I’d prefer to take part in a fight where one person can actually make a difference.

  2. I just have to ask… how many fortress sieges have you participated in? On Red Eye Mountain I have participated in about a dozen. The only time a fortress siege was ever successful is if it is in the late hours when nobody is on or twice when the doors were bugged and they were already down letting the attackers get to the lord before the defenders were prepared. The defenders have such a ridiculous advantage as it stands now that two warbands in the lord room could hold off thousands of players. The choke point going up the ramp, coupled with line of sight issues, a tank wall and endless barrage of sorc / bright wizard AOEs not to mention the lord and champions already in the room make it near impossible as it stands. The servers that are capable of pushing to a city now are wildly imbalanced toward one faction. An even server like Red Eye Mountain will be at a stalemate indefinitely unless they change something – we’ll see if this can do it.

  3. I have mix feelings about this.
    One, I hate when the losing side tries to intentionally crash the server when they losing. I don’t think you can get any lamer then than. But on the other side, my framerate is like 1 frame every 6 seconds when theres a ton of ppl. Its impossible to do anything, so hopefully this will help out.
    The real issue is that Mythic needs to come up with a solution so that you can have a ton of players at a keep without killing the server. Right now, Im not hating this idea.

  4. AoC caps at 48v48, right? And is instanced? I think this Fort cap is a long way away from that. 100v100 in the open field is still enough to give WAR that ‘epic’ feeling DAoC had during a relic raid, while still remaining technically possible. Server issues are far from a ‘fundamental flaw’, otherwise every MMO since UO has launched flawed by your logic.

    And what Snafzg said above is very correct, the defending side would just load up the Fort with lowbies and banners, and force the area to crash. No amount of miracle hardware or software would stop this tactic (Goons in EVE is a good example of this)

  5. “I’d prefer to take part in a fight where one person can actually make a difference.”

    Um…Snafzg, doesn’t that fly in the face of everything that Mythic has been promoting with WAR.

    You are kinda taught from the very beginning that you are nothing but a minor cog in the machine of WAR and if everyone isn’t working well together you can’t hope to win a siege/scenario/whatever.

  6. I don’t see this as a bad thing either. Also, you need to finish the sentence and quit chopping it off at “participate”. They’re not talking about fortress participation. Here’s the actual end of the sentence in the quote:

    “…allow even more players to participate in, and benefit from, capital city sieges.”

    You can’t participate in a city siege unless two fortresses are taken within the appropriate timeframe. Right now that just doesn’t happen due to server crashes from way too many people, lowbies, banners, etc.

    As Syncaine states, there will still be a ton of folks in the siege and it will still feel epic, but with this change there’s actually a chance that fortresses can be taken without the zone crashing, thus opening up the capital city sieges.

    So going from zero capital city sieges today to even 1 capital city siege after this change does allow more people to participate at the end of the day. Otherwise no one ever gets to see city sieges bc of server crashes.

  7. You hit the nail on the head Paragus, althought i do agree with khardamon that theoretically what they said with the participation of city siege is correct, but it doesn’t make this a good solution, the fortress system is flawed and i didn’t think it would work when i first heard about it.

    I quit WAR in the first month and it was mainly because their server tech was absolutely rubbish, ghosting and sever lag when more than 20 people were in the same spot.

  8. I love any PvP article you do that has nothing to do with AoC, yet always seems to have a dig…
    We are so much alike you an I…as I do the same thing for LOTRO…

    Could you imagine how crappy sieges would be in LOTRO?

  9. Someone responded to this article on my blog at MMORPG.com and summed it up nicely I think when he said this:

    “WAR is everywhere, but please don’t all come at once.”

  10. Let’ see what we have here… someone is in for a lil of schooling.

    What this change does is simply to weed out those MANY lowbies that went to fortress sieges just to leech xp and rps, and that took as much server resources as a level 40 players, while not contributing at all to the fight. I’ve been in several fortress sieges, and the amount of level 20 (or lower) people you see leeching during the siege is a very sizeable percentage of the total. A sizeable amount that the battle can definately do without.

    Does it take away from the “massiveness” of the battle? Not one bit. The caps are still very high, and let in a number of people in that can be easily defined “massive”.

    It’s fun how you accuse others to be “PR monkeys”, while you’re the one that tries (and fails miserably, it seems) to spin around the facts.

    We could skim over the fact that the title is misleading and hyperbolic (RvR population capped? It’s just fortress sieges, and they’re very far from representing the sum of RvR content, not even it’s majority, at that), but the most funny thing is that you try to point out a lack of coherence between “capping a zone” and “allowing more people to partecipate”.

    Too bad that the you evidently and purposedly cut the sentence, warping it’s meaning. The complete quote would be: “allowing more people to partecipate to capital city sieges”, not to fortress battles.

    It’s pretty evident how cutting down the lag (which favors the defenders a lot) and removing the crashes problem makes successfully attacking fortresses much more viable and doable (even for the underdog realm, numbers-wise), and increases the number of city sieges considerably, thus making them much more accessible to more people.
    Ergo, the line “and allow even more players to participate in, and benefit from, capital city sieges” makes perfect sense, despite your feeble attempt to spin it.

    The conclusion is even more laughable, as you compare warhammer to age of conan. Too bad that in age of conan ALL sieges are limited to 48 vs 48 people. In Warhammer the limits are a ton less restrictive and ONLY applied to fortress sieges.

    All things summed up, the only result you attain with this pathetic attempt to a PR spin is making a fool of yourself.
    Take your guild anywhere you want, if they’re so foolish to follow you. Good riddance.

  11. This is a really dumb blog entry.

    Let me paraphrase:

    That’s no Fair! Mythic isn’t allowed to stop exploits with band-aid fixes. They need to allow us to exploit until they can figure out a way to fix it right. I’m mad and I am leaving with my guild of whiners.

    Hey guys? . . Aren’t ya coming? . .guys?

  12. Warhammer needs help on several levels. They are lucky they aren’t having to deal with another major MMO launch any time soon that is competing in the same arena as them. Darkfall comes out soon I know, but I doubt its a real threat to Warhammer.

    Anyway realm imbalance, T4 zone control, ward gear acquisition, buggy fortress fights, city invasion PQ’s, etc all just contribute to one gigantic problem in the end game. Azazel has been in a stalemate for months, but Order has crashed the server one the second fortress take a few times. Looking over at the Vault, it seems that these population cap changes have introduced new issues that still make fortress fights problematic.

    Honestly, Mythic needs to just use the DAOC RVR model. In DAOC it was all about keep taking to assault the relic forts, and that was certainly not an easy thing to do. Warhammer introduces too much PVE, bad zone control design, and gear requirements on top of the basic RVR that DAOC offered.

    If Darkfall doesn’t flip and we keep having to put up with the crap that mythic is passing off as RVR, I won’t shed a tear by moving my guild to some other game.

  13. @Abriael: Not once has Paragus mentioned that this announcement was the reason his guild was leaving WAR. In fact, searching “www.inqguild.com” for more details, it appears that “Inquisition” announced that it was getting out of WAR on December, 29. Ten days before the announcement from Mythic that prompted this blog entry.

  14. Jukkan summed it quite right. The obvious spin doctoring attempt that got as far as trying to warp what mythic said with the sole purpose of making them look like the bad guys translates exactly as
    “I’m mad and I am leaving with my guild of whiners.
    Hey guys? . . Aren’t ya coming? . .guys?”

  15. As Neothoron was saying, my guild had pretty much packed up in Warhammer quite some time ago, even before the official announcement on our page. We simply watched as our members could not find the will to log in due to a lack of interest and a failed endgame.

    You should ask yourself how long are you going to keep paying Mythic to clean up messes that should have never made it past the design phase of the game or beta. We are not talking about a trivial bug here, this is the premise of the entire game.

    You are paying them for massive scale RvR, when all the time the server hardware this game is running on was never strong enough to deliver on that promise. Now maybe you can watch a video blog of Paul Barnett taking another pie to the face to make you justify your sub, but I find that as complete ass-hattery.

    Go read some of the more popular Warhammer forums and you will see that a large percentage of the players there are extremely concerned about this decision by them. People are watching half of their warbands being teleported back to the camp after helping push the battle to the front line. The players are genuinely upset and have every right to feel that way. People have given Mythic a lot of slack on a lot of things, but when are you going to draw the line and realize you are paying for them to finish the game to what it should have been at launch.

    I’m sorry you are not emotionally stable enough to read a criticism of your precious game, but it is just that, a game. When my guild pays money for a product, they expect a certain level of quality and honesty from the developers. They will not be financing their fuck-ups with our money anymore. By the own words, this is expected to take weeks to fix…..which translates you into giving them another 15 bucks to enter the next billing cycle to find out what the fix will be. To me and many others, it simply is not worth it.

  16. I’m sorry you’re not emotionally stable enough to just quit a game without trying to make a big fuss out of it (including a miserably failed attempt to spin doctoring about which you’re now quite conveniently avoiding to respond).
    You’ve made a fool of yourself, you might as well begin to accept it and live on.

    I have to let you know, though, that you aren’t quite entitled to talk for “the players”. And it’s pretty evident that there’s a whole lot of people that are entirely satisfied about this change, since it makes fortress sieges well playable and fun (as the comments on your own blog and in many other places, including the forums you tout so unattentively, show quite easily) while keeping the population caps still very high.

    If such a minor change about a PART of the endgame RvR (i would really like to see you quote where anyone at mythic ever sold fortresses as the “premise of the entire game”. The “premise of the entire game” is RvR, which includes that and a whole lot more, most of which isn’t capped at all) is enough to make you “genuinely upset”, then you might want to transfer yourself and your guild to a single player game, since MMORPGs undergo this kind of routinary tweaks expecially often.

    Your funny tendency to hyperbole and exaggeration shows quite clearly as you tyalk about “half of warbands being sent to the warcamp bla bla bla”. You might want to actually take part in a fortress siege before trying to spread this kind of nonsense.

    Unfortunately for you and your attempt to drama queen-ing, I and many others will keep paying for the game as long as it provides us with (a lot) more fun than it’s comptetition, a situation that seems to be destined to last quite long. Tweaks here and there will happen as they happen in every MMORPG, but as long as they don’t hinder such fun (and this one doesn’t), there’s no need to cry about an imaginary falling sky.

    In the end your deliberately hostile choice of wording shows quite well what you are, and that’s an angry troll that’s been caught with his chubby fingers in the jam. Too bad.

  17. Well Paragus, I’m sure you and YOUR guild that YOU will take with you will find another game that holds up to your standards.

    A game that holds no cap whatsoever on how many players can battle in one place. A game that will launch without problems, and don’t have any need for tweaks, balancing and patching in the months to follow. A game that does not put anything in advertising that is not fully 100% in accordance to what is in the game.

    I’m sure you’ll find it. Any day now. Yes sireee.

    Me, I’m just too sad to even flame. Christ, this is PARAGUS leaving. And he’s taking HIS guild with him. Warhammer is truly doomed now. /endgame.

  18. @ Abriael

    Sorry if I don’t answer all of your points, but I do not have time to answer 5 -10 paragraphs you put here and on Massively. You seem to enjoy being a foaming-at-the-mouth Mythic appologist, so I am not going to waste anymore time trying to reason with you.

    I’ve been playing MMO’s for 12 years, and my guild has been successful in every MMO we have ever played, so spare me the drama-queen bullshit. The difference between you and me, is that you take Mythic’s word for it, and I go by the reality of what happens.

    You are downplaying at as “a minor change to a part of the endgame”. Fortress battles are a critical part of this game as it was billed as massive RvR. A lot of players like me feel instancing and PvP do not mix. This change is a step closer to that direction whether you want to believe it or not. This is a fix to problems that should not have been in the game to begin with.

    If you enjoy the game, keep playing. It makes no difference to me. Someone is going to have keep funding the project to get it to where it should have been at launch, so it minds well be you. Personally, my guys are not willing to pony up another billing cycle based on Paul Barnett’s good word. My guys would rather takes their chances with Darkfall, so for better or worse, we are moving on. Enjoy the rest of your time in Warhammer, and thanks for reading.

  19. @ Abriael
    If your gonna blow it out your ass that hard it normaly helps to pull down your pants first so you dont ruin your clothes.

    Seriously dude, WTF? Either you are on mythic’s payroll to do stupid shit like this, or you have just been preapproved for a helmet, water wings, and a cool ride in the little bus to school every day. (btw, a little tip for you, dont lick the windows, you wont be the first)

    Do you understand how stupid you look? You are fighting with the OP on his blog about how hes wrong. In the end though, i dont really care what you do. The simple fact that you will be paying mythic to play the beta tells me exactly how stupid you really are, so there isn’t really a point in fighting over it.

  20. So many fanboi’s(abriael being one) seem to be angry and brushing off the fact the game is horrid even before this change was implemented.

    I think the point of this article is to say that it’s the straw that broke the camels back. Overall there are many parts of the game which are just poorly done and anyone with any real MMO experience can easily see that which is why the pop has consistently dropped since release. The majority of you are the disease that has infested the MMO community which constantly pays for products that are not finished and poorly designed. You defend these companies who have released a beta product as though you are receiving a paycheck. They are most likely sitting in their offices thanking the gods gamers like you exist who are so hungry for a decent game you blindly support/pay for garbage like WAR because…….I have no clue.

    The renown rewards are silly, nothing more than stat boosts. You can run Warpblade,Crypts or Vale ad nauseum and hope something your class can use drops, you can run through open rvr zones in a zerg which is pretty much all there is unless you coordinate something out of game and setup a fight, exploit the city siege pq mechanics and farm invader gear,run countless scenario’s because it still is the fastest way to earn renown in the game. I think in the last scenario I ran before I left the game there were more out of group players then actual grouped players because of the silly renown point mechanics. I could keep going on the many many flaws of this game but why bother,

    I love people who defend this game, they always avoid the facts and take shots and others who state why they are or have left a particular game.Laughable.

    I don’t advocate for any particular game, but WAR is not well designed game.

  21. Warhammer: a pvp (rvr) centric game in which you can get to the max level by not pvp-ing. It’s even worse, Mythic deceided that not pvp-ing was far much rewarding then killing players!! Just swap keeps and BO’s until you start puking and you get there!

  22. The Contribution debacle ? Can’t you see it was meant as a joke? Obviously went way over your head.

  23. The game is there the game is good, it seems really balanced.

    If you have a garbage comp, DON’T PLAY. Sick of people thinking everyone needs to jump for THEM in this country. Save some money, get some upgrades. OR, turn your graphics ALLLLLL the way down. It’s all horsedookie half these complaints and suggestions.

    Insanely massive 100’s to 1000’s of people against each other in one area never works… melee is useless it becomes an artillary-fest. So are rogues and whatnot, it then just centers on casters/nukers and gets slugged out from the spell-effects. In Diablo 2 it was the Sorceress spamming of high-tier skills that led to programming cool-downs into spells ecause of the clipping in everyones video. Thus making Sorceress the winner as your charachter would die before you saw it die.

    LOWBIES should NOT BE ABLE TO PARTICIPATE. They are wrothless and WASTE SPACE. The fun of the leveling in the game is to do quests and experience it then enjoy your gear and spoils in mass RvR/PvP later. Not go in, watch it like TV, screw around, be lazy and mash 1 button…. it’s rediculous. There’s alot of people who just want to dink off while others do the lion’s share. And there should be NO way to crash or ‘plug-pull’ if a side is losing, but there are always babies out there that are going to do it, plain and simple. Anything that makes PERFORMANCE BETTER is welcome. Games are for PLAYING not watching. I’d rather have under 100 against udner 100 people then more or nothing if it ran perfect, way more focused and fun. Balance. Offense actually should always have a slight advantage too, be it anything… environment… problem is that Offense lacks options compared to Defense in games. But in any case if it’s balanced it’s all good.

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