Today’s read-through

Incorporates some of yesterday’s updates, because I’m doing lots of overtime this week and behind with my reading. So fasten your seatbelts, and join me as I read through my feed reader, with no idea what I’ll stumble upon.

  • I agree, this is SO not a hag
  • Ha ha, Griffon Battlemasters in Nordenwatch change their appearance? I never noticed! Really, I barely look at them I’m baying for blood so much on starting a scenario
  • Yay, some bloggers have been city siegingboo, it’s not always gone too well. We’ve not got past problems with fortress capturing, so I’ve not been to a big city capture yet, and I’m not geared up for one anyway, but it’s both good to see it happening more regularly, and bad that it still needs some wrinkles ironed out. We shouldn’t be beta testing this as much in a live game, and I hope once changes are made they work and are well received. For myself, I’ve gone more for levelling and lower tier RvR as my route to enjoyment these days. Reroller has a good summary of bloggers’ experiences with cities up
  •  It’s good to have a sense of humour about losing in scenarios and to check the scoreboard at the end to see why, but I’m not sure I’ve ever had THIS problem
  • I still don’t know what a duiker is, I was too  busy going ‘Awwww’
  • Are Choppas and Slayers too cool for school? I think they might be, but at this point, what the hell!
  • An MMO can truly be classed as evil, when it makes you think of Britney Spears
  • Oh Ysharros, you hid an interesting nugget in there didn’t you? Would you pay $5/month to support a game even if you weren’t playing it? To keep things ticking over rather than the full subscription? I’m not sure I’d pay that much, but I might pay a nominal fee… (ps. I’ve not been on to Murder Night yet, but I’ll explain why on Nerf the Cat sometime)
  • And talking of BoG personal blogs, Spinks looks at the female friendliness of superhero games
  • Hrrm, March 19th the day to look into booking hotels for San Diego Comic Con. Will HAVE to remember that. Remind me! We’ll have a WAR player get-together, I’m sure (run by US bloggers, I’m hoping, so I can hide in there somewhere)
  • Cats – get OFF my desk!!!!!!!!!!!!! (they are fighting around the monitor, seriously)
  • Forums, official and unofficial are a timesink. Discuss! Actually, go see what the unofficial forums think about official forums – but remember, they’re not going to say anything impolite, are they? I mean, would you when you still want the devs to visit, etc?
  • Romantic costumes on your Xbox 360 avatars is NOT a good way to celebrate Valentines, guys & gals. But the comments almost made me fall out my chair grinning!
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And, back to English…

[first of all, a quick thanks to my husband for his Russian update! I’m sure we all want to welcome Russian players to Warhammer]

And now, I think I may have added all the new Age of Blogging blogs to the blogroll (how many times can you get blog into a sentence?). If I’ve missed you, ping me a comment.

So it’s time for another read-through with Arbitrary. Fasten your seatbelts, I hear it’s rough out there on the blogsee.

  • Did I mention? I love diagrams, they are the way to my heart. I also don’t like Khaine’s Embrace. Homunculus wins on both counts.
  • Who knew? Choppas make me go ‘awwww’.
  • Ok, I’m partial to blood splatters, I like the banner, I like the layout, I continue to read the posts over at Confessions of an RvR Player.
  • The Wide Eyed Newb is carrying on with the RvR-only levelling  challenge, set by Syp. I wish I had the stamina to try it! I think the problem really is that it confines you to primetime play, and I like to play during off-hours.
  • Iain C – how can you give me a title change just as I’ve been meddling with the blogroll, it may have to wait till next week, but glad you’re safely in Germany!
  • Just awesome.
  • High Magic makes a good point about Realm Leaders – I would hate to try and take on that mantle so I have a deep respect for anyone that does. They know who they are.
  • Valentine’s cards and rhymes at Blame the Healer made me giggle. I might send my husband the Ironbreaker one. Again, I love blood splatter.
  • I hear ya, Syp. And I don’t disagree. The lay-offs suck and added a ton of blah-ness to my day yesterday. Not least because we have a restructure going on at work too. I’m profoundly saddened for the individuals involved. Maybe without this, EA could have saved some money.

Anyway, that’s it for today, WAR fans!

You load 300k subs, and whaddaya get?

… another year older and deeper in debt.

Electronic Arts (EA) announced yesterday that Warhammer Online had 300k active subscriptions at the end of last year. This was actually one of the high points of their earnings call.

They lost $641mil over the third quarter of last year, a huge increase over the year before. They’re closing down 12 offices (making approx 1100 people redundant, and are cutting down the number of games in their portfolio to 50 for 2010.

All of this is severe, and it gets worse. Three of the big name games scheduled for this year have also been delayed (hope no one was holding their breath waiting for Sims 3 or Dragon Age). If you’re bleeding cash, the only reason for delaying extra income flow from a new game is because you have no choice. Either those games are behind schedule, they can’t make their schedule because of the loss of resources/ job cuts, or there are other reasons to think that there is more profit from delaying than from putting them out on time.

So what does 300k subs mean for Warhammer

300k subscriptions is a healthy number for an MMO. If it seems disappointing now, it is because the hype machine was in overdrive last year. And also, no one really knew what to expect — we simply hadn’t much experience of seeing how a AAA MMO would go up against Warcraft. LOTRO and Conan were arguably different types of proposition.

I think the future for WAR is rosy. Mythic have dealt promptly with any issues arising, they were quick to offer server merges when it was needed and have been active with entertaining events and new content for existing subscribers.

The proof is in the pudding though, and we won’t know until May how many people who initially took out a 6 month subscription will be staying with it.

By far the biggest issues the game has in my opinion are technical ones. They need those large battles to be stable and accessible since they’re the big selling point. They could really use a larger server size too.

Balance and content are good to go. Not perfect, but not a red flag either. They can be tweaked as long as players are having fun in the meantime.  But for all that, it deserves to be successful, and the core of the game is sound. I said this back in my beta review and it’s still true.

Three hundred thousand is a solid number of players. It’s a solid income stream for Mythic/ EA. It’s definitely not a failure in any terms other than the overhyped ones. Eurogamer.net reckon that it’s enough to guarantee the game’s future, and they have a chat scheduled tomorrow with Paul Barnett in which the question is bound to come up.

And right now, Electronic Arts could probably use all the guaranteed income streams and  non-failures that it can get.

So what have the other bloggers been saying?

Wizards and Wenches has a null reaction.

Tobold discusses the attrition rate and why the early estimates were so high

Syp@Waaagh analyses what the numbers mean to him

Reroller also ponders whether players should be worried

Syncaine@Hardcore Casual is initially disappointed in the numbers, but argues that they are solid.

I haven’t written about it in my blog (because one post a day on financials is enough 🙂 ) but I’ll link to it anyway!

Kill time, slaughter blog posts!

Ok, so I’m up early and we have a wait till this big announcement. Go read some new blogs, the blogroll on the side here is fairly extensive and I still have more to add. So, I’ll let you read through some with me, as I read my feed reader this morning, these are the things that strike me:

  • Skurmish has gone and got a WAR a screenshot on Massively, in the One Shots segment. Congrats!
  • Oh no! Schlotzy’s is closing (but I understand why), I enjoyed it while it lasted!
  • Reroller is right, the Sigmar tattoo is… odd. That’s not to say I haven’t made a toon with it, and then deleted her!
  • I know I’ve been out of the loop for a while, but really.. people dropping out of scenarios again. Mythic – this is tragic. And lame, and cowardly, and playing the numbers game – which all MMOs get to eventually with some players.
  • Addicted to oRvR? You should be (perhaps). I’ll be passing the news of this oRvR tracker add-on to my guild, for sure.
  • Keen will never shave his head and dye the mohawk orange, Syp. You know that! I’ve had a mohawk, and considered it. But then I didn’t get a Valentine’s so my hair is staying where it is! (If anyone wants to see me with a mohawk, I might post it, sometime!)
  • Baby giraffes are cute. Maybe this is the one they’re discussing in Prancing Pony (oops, wrong game!)
  • Regis is playing scrabble for me. Good, cos I’m lazy and it’s early in the morning. I think WAR event hints works nicely, for the record. Go write Regis a nice Valentine’s poem for your arch-nemesis. Um.. I’ll think up one, honest.

That’s it for today, I might keep this format, of my initial thoughts as I go through my reader… tell me what you think

and a couple of things to read

Schlotzky’s on what he’d like to see in the 29/1 announcement (of course, Americans say 1/29 ;p)

The lovely Regis on decrypting the Valentine’s poems. Got to thank him, because I’m rushing for work and have barely had the time to read them. You can’t go far wrong by following his blog, people!

You crazy bloggers, you!

Have added another ton of links of new WAR blogs from the Age of Blogging initiative.

It’s really what you should spend your sunday doing, go through all the links here and marvel at the wealth of talent, humour, opinion and general all-round bloggy goodness that’s on show here. And remember, it’s not too late to create your own WAR blog and join the gang over at Blog Warhammer.

I’ll be adding them all to my feed reader, and reading them regularly so I can point out any interesting stuff I read there, either here or on my more personal blog: Nerf the Cat!

Where we’re at

First of all, thanks for all the kind words about the blog. We always had a blast writing it. So much so that we couldn’t really just let it rest. In fact, we’ve started some individual blogs that have a wider context than Warhammer Online (Spinksville and Nerf the Cat).

However, that doesn’t mean Book of Grudges is quite ready to rest its weary head yet, and that’s all to do with how many of you have kept stopping by and looking to see if we’re back and writing again. But, the focus is going to change a little.

Instead of opinion pieces, we’re intending to write a lot less regularly and concern ourselves more with the European community of Warhammer Online – where we originally intended the blog to focus, perhaps. So expect comments about what’s going on in Europe a little more, and less on the game in general (though I expect our personal blogs will be more opinion and less community stuff).

And to that end, we’d welcome any submissions, any news tidbits from guilds, recruitment stuff, bragging about oRvR – anything really that reflects what’s going on amongst the European community for Warhammer Online. Pass the message on, I’ll post on a couple of forums and let’s see if we can kick this off!

ps. if there’s anyone out there playing WAR in Europe who’d like to contribute to the writing of the blog, let us know, using the email address in contact details! We promise to check it at least every couple of days!!

pps. it’ll take a little while to do things like clearing up the blogroll and making a start on this new endeavour, so be patient 🙂