I canceled my Warhammer account last night and was asked to provide feedback at the end of a short survey. Here is what I wrote. I have removed my personal contact information from the letter. My comments about the letter will be in brackets and italics.
My guild, Fight on the Flag, enjoyed your game for a long time. Unfortunately, we left because felt we could no longer have fun in your game because of a number of factors:
1. Unbalanced server populations make lopsided battles no fun for either side.
My guild initially rolled Order/Gorfang because we sought a challenge. We preferred to be the underdogs and thought Order would lead us to good times — and it did, at first. But then Destro, for whatever reason (insert crying about BW bombers), felt they could not compete and stopped showing up to fight. Scenario queues were terrible for the overpopulated side, and sometimes several queues would pop and nobody would show up to anything. Sever merges only exacerbated the problem because, while you added more players to the server, the gap between the two factions remained as large, and possibly grew.
2. You tried to cater to too many player bases (PVE vs. PVP) and therefore failed to entrance either of them. [I should have listed this as number one, because frankly LOTD was a horrible failure.]
When FOTF started playing Warhammer and realized the potential of this game, we thought back to our DAOC days (as Legacy of Storms on Alb/Bedevere) and became afraid. We seriously considered starting a letter-writing campaign to Mark Jacobs begging him not to introduce a Trials of Atlantis type expansion. “But no,” we thought, “they wouldn’t do that again. TOA was a disaster.” How wrong we were. The second I heard of Land of the Dead, I thought “Oh crap, not again.” Everyone I knew from DAOC who had participated in TOA hated the idea, yet they remained cautiously optimistic because you marketed it as a “Darkness Falls” type dungeon.
Warhammer was marketed as a RVR game, like DAOC. Yet in DAOC the gear requirement to PVP (pre TOA) was never an issue. You get max crafting skills, spellcraft your MP armor and you were ready to PVP. You didn’t have to deal with bugged instances, terrible itemization and unlucky drop rates. But in Warhammer, someone decided that you had to cater to the PVE player base and add instances to get your gear. This was a HUGE mistake for anyone who loved Warhammer for the PVP. For my guild, PVE was something we dreaded but tolerated because we wanted to make sure that we remained competitive with the other side. Warhammer PVE was a time vampire that sucked away what little time I had to play with my guild on the weekend.
3. You were slow on server merges, leaving hopeful yet despondent players to languish on dead servers or consider rerolling.
I had written to you before to merge Gorfang with another server because the Destruction side sorely needed help. Unfortunately, my guild rerolled on Phoenix Throne before you merged servers. By the time the Gorfang server merge happened, if we were not already 50 we were well on our way on PT. In any case, players had asked for weeks if not a month or more for the server to get merged. We all knew what was wrong (I even crafted a video, just search for Doorhammer on Youtube).
Aion was the nail in the coffin because so many players left Warhammer for it (and honestly some of us hate that game so far because the grind is so oppressive, but we can’t come back to Warhammer because there is nothing to come back to). [It's a bit like that hot chick that dates complete jerks, but she would rather be dating a jerk than nobody at all. Neither solution (Warhammer or Aion) is best, but Warhammer burned us most recently so we're kinda leery about that option.]
I don’t want this to be too long. I would be surprised if anyone reads this anyway. But you had a good game going, it’s too bad you didn’t listen to your veteran DAOC players.
Perle, GM of Fight on the Flag
PS. We will never forget the fun times we had in Warhammer. It will always hold a special place in our hearts, as DAOC still does. The time we killed two full warbands with our six-man BW bomb group was priceless. I only wish I had been running Fraps at the time. (And yeah, tone down AE next time you make a game, or players like us will use it to our full advantage.)
I am not saying Warhammer is dead. I hear there is still action, but not the fights we had before on Phoenix Throne. If you have evidence to the contrary, however, please post a comment. A recent patch has revitalized the Destruction side from what I hear (marauders got serious buffs).
By the way, anyone who would say BW are/were OP and that Destro couldn’t do what Order did, you don’t know what you’re talking about. We rerolled on Phoenix Throne and regularly ran successful bomb squads (though our gear was a bit worse, we still won many fights against top-rank guilds).