I really hate people following fads, I don't care if it is a type of game or even clothes. That said, the new announcement from Bioware/Mythic about the new free to play game Warhammer Online: Wrath of Heroes greatly irritates me. It is obvious they are trying to ride the DotA/LoL popularity train, and at the expense of WAR proper.
I am going to get this out of the way right now. WAR has a terrible reputation in the MMORPG market place. The developers are known for half-assing almost everything they do, the game is known for having buggy or broken PvE, population is constantly dropping, and the list keeps going. WAR is everything people tend to not want in a MMO. of course I already said in a recent blog that it could be fixed if the developers put the effort forth too actually fix it. Looks like Mythic decided to once again prove they can't even do that with this latest announcement.
WoH is getting three sided, skill based combat while WAR proper is stuck with the standard two sides. They say that because the animations are worked out for WoH, that some of it might filter down into WAR, and I have no doubt about that. It is easy to filter used things down when everything is running the same engines and skeletons. WAR instead doesn't get the skill based combat of having gear, renown rank and levels not matter but they are also stuck with having only the two sides. People who just want to fight have absolutely no reason to log into WAR, since they can get that fix with WoH.
Apparent Mythic has also said they want to give bonuses to subscribers of WAR to try and get people to subscribe and play both. this may well get some, but the simple fact of the matter is, to me personally, it is a complete waste of money, as the bonuses won't be anything more then superficial, else the free to play players will be up in arms quickly, causing WoH to die early on. So with that in mind, why would I ever pay to play an MMO where the PvE is so neglected it is near worthless, and the only form of good character advancement comes only through fighting other players, when I could get the EXACT same playstyle for free? The only difference between the two games will be one is focused on open world PvP, the other is instanced, but if many people are playing WoH, then that means those people aren't in WAR's open world PvP.
I am counting this as another in a long line of Mythic's screw-ups in the last year+. From over charging people, to break the account center, to the sever lack of communication and openness they have with their playerbase. I see WAR being hurt more then helped once WoH goes live, there just isn't enough in WAR to give it enough of a difference in playstyle compared the WoHs.