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Warhammer Online

Warhammer Online offers partial refunds

Fantasy, Warhammer Online, Subscription, Sunsets

With Warhammer Online's closure tomorrow, some of the players will be entitled to a partial refund for money spent during the past few months.

Those who qualify for a refund will include those who had paid game time on their accounts on November 1st, including credit card payments and game time cards. Mythic will also be refunding unused purchased game item codes. These refunds will begin tomorrow but could take up to 90 days to process.

In the case of credit card purchases, Mythic will automatically refund the money back onto the account. For cards and codes, Mythic is asking those who qualify to contact customer support to arrange a refund method (we suggest a shady back alley hand-off between a Mythic employee and you).

Second Wind Roundtable: The final days of Warhammer Online

Fantasy, Warhammer Online, Opinion, Humor, Second Wind, Sunsets

Screenshot -- Warhammer Online
I know it's been a while, but the Second Wind Roundtable is back for a special occasion: the shutdown of Warhammer Online. As you may know, Mythic's long-floundering RvR title is officially shutting down on December 18th, taking with it the war between Order and Chaos that's been waging since 2008.

I was never a die-hard WAR player, but I did have an account still in good standing, and the game was made free for all former subscribers, so I figured that I'd jump in for a last hoorah despite the icky taste it left in my mouth the last time I played. I wasn't about to do this alone, though, so I pulled my now-ex-friend Eliot Lefebvre along for the ride. A post on the official site promised new NPCs to power up our characters and "other unique experiences," so I expected a big end-of-the-world bash as former players returned and boosted to max level for one final brawl. What we got was... well, just read on past the cut. I need a drink.

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Warhammer Online tribute video takes the bloody cake

Fantasy, Video, Culture, Warhammer Online, Subscription, Sunsets

Short of digging up old login details and re-downloading the client, the best way for Warhammer Online veterans to pay tribute to their old (or current) MMO home might be to watch this excellent fan-made video.

Clocking in at around 25 minutes, the video takes us on a tour of WAR's world, lore, and landmarks, all with heaps of in-game action to preserve the memories as they were. This video's been getting noticed by all categories of Warhammer Online players, so we figured we should share it to you as the clock ticks down to the final minutes of the game's life on December 18th. You can view it after the break.

[Thanks to Li for the tip!]

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One Shots: The storm has passed

Screenshots, EverQuest II, Culture, Warhammer Online, One Shots, RIFT, Final Fantasy XIV, Miscellaneous

"Here is a picture from my days playing Warhammer Online," reader John submitted. "It will be missed."

You know what, John? It really will be. Heaven knows it's been kicked around enough in the larger MMO community, but people doing that oh-so-conveniently forget the great times that were had. In a sea of fantasy games, it's still hard to find Witch Hunters battling mutated madmen or suicidal punk Dwarves getting swallowed by a giant squig. Except for here, of course.

So take in that lightning and be kind to those who will go through the grieving process this month when WAR is shuttered. Do it for me, will ya? The Gipper. And as you're doing that, also check out our other player screenshots from this past week!

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One Shots: Find the chicken

Screenshots, Dark Age of Camelot, Lord of the Rings Online, Culture, Warhammer Online, One Shots, Miscellaneous

Will there ever be a game as visually distinctive and memorable as Glitch? Considering that I'm still getting screenshots in from a game that was canned almost a year ago, I doubt it.

Reader Phinneas gave me this maddening puzzle that has consumed my days as I pore over it looking for the chicken. Where? Where? Where could it be? Under that tentacle-plant-thing? Under the next? Lurking beyond the frame? Oh, what trickery is this?

"This picture is of my favorites of the game's last few days," Phinneas said with an implied taunt in his voice. "I still hold out hope that it will be resurrected someday."

As I continue to look for the chicken, you can move on to the rest of our week's submissions!

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Leaderboard: Are you giving WAR an in-game send-off?

Fantasy, MMO Industry, Warhammer Online, Opinion, Leaderboard

WAR. WAR was never this epic.
Sigh. Warhammer Online. It's hard to believe the title is over five years old, but sadly it's not hard to believe that its days are numbered. The powers-that-be have opened the free-to-play floodgates for the last few weeks of the game's life, and while I haven't felt the urge to log in yet and run around for old times' sake, I may get there before the end.

What about you, Massively readers? Are you going to give WAR an in-game send-off? Let us know after the cut!

Ever wish that you could put to rest a long-standing MMO debate once and for all? Then welcome to the battle royal of Massively's Leaderboard, where two sides enter the pit o' judgment -- and only one leaves. Vote to make your opinion known, and see whether your choice tops the Leaderboard!

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Warhammer Online goes free for final weeks

Fantasy, Business Models, Warhammer Online, Free-to-Play, Sunsets

Warhammer Online goes free for final weeks
After years of fans asking for it, Warhammer Online has finally gone free-to-play. Unfortunately, we had to wait until the end of the game's lifespan to see it happen.

Mythic announced that the title would be completely free for those who would like to play before the title sunsets and that subscriptions have been disabled. "To give Warhammer Online a proper sendoff we are opening the game to anyone free of charge that has or had an account in good standing starting October 31st, 2013," the studio wrote. "So please join us and help say goodbye to Warhammer Online in one last big WAAAGH!"

Mythic also said that it is adding power-up NPCs to super-charge characters and other "unique experiences" for returning and loyal players.

WAR will close down on December 18th. You can read some of our recollections of the title's history.

[Thanks to John for the tip!]

The Game Archaeologist: WAR's biggest battle was with itself

Fantasy, MMO Industry, PvP, Warhammer Online, The Game Archaeologist, Anniversaries, Subscription, Sunsets

The Game Archaeologist WAR's biggest battle was with itself
Who would have thought that on WAR's fifth anniversary and just days after I dropped a few favorite things about the game, Mythic would be announcing a closure instead of an exciting celebration? While we can all say it that Warhammer Online's upcoming sunset was expected, nobody predicted that the news would go down on its fifth birthday. Maybe someone over there likes order more than chaos and sees a nice symmetry in this. Personally, I think it felt a little bit mean to do that to the remaining community that was patiently sitting there hoping that the studio would toss them even a small bit of recognition.

But facts are facts, and after December 18th, the game of public quests, the Tome of Knowledge, "bears, bears, bears," Slayers and Marauders, RvR and scenarios, exploding squigs, and drunken Dwarves will be no more.

There are a few months left to experience the game if one so desires, but the end is finally here. It's caused many of us who were invested in the game back in 2008 to take stock of our memories and deal with the last chapter of this strange, wild rollercoaster that started with a strong IP, a studio steeped in PvP MMO development, and a pair of white sunglasses. In the end, WAR's biggest battle was with itself -- and it lost. Today, let's look at the whys, the what ifs, and the community reaction.

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MMO Week in Review: Blood for the blood god

MMO Industry, Warhammer Online, Massively Meta, Week in Review, Miscellaneous

At the end of every week, we round up the best and most popular news stories, exclusive features, and insightful columns published on Massively and then present them all in one convenient place. If you missed a big MMO or WoW Insider story last week, you've come to the right post.

It's been a week of shutdown announcements in the MMO and pseduo-MMO community, but not all shutdowns are bad. EA-Mythic finally admitted the inevitable: that Warhammer Online, on life support for the last few years, will cease operation in December (Merry Christmas?), possibly paving the way for a new MMO set within the same IP. And Blizzard informed Diablo III's PC players that the RMT auction house will be axed next year, just in time for the expansion. Of course, that also means the death of the regular trading hall. You win some; you lose some.

Read on for a look at the rest of this week's top MMO stories.

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Warhammer Online to close December 18th

Fantasy, MMO Industry, Warhammer Online, Anniversaries, Sunsets

Warhammer Online to close December 18th
Today is Warhammer Online's fifth anniversary, but instead of getting a celebration, the players are getting a pink slip from Mythic. The studio announced that it will be shutting WAR down as of December 18th because its licensing deal with Games Workshop has come to an end.

The official statement gives the important details: "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. As such we will no longer be selling three-month game time codes or have the ability to auto renew your accounts for three months as of September 18th, 2013. From all of us here at Mythic we thank you again for your dedication and support over the last five years."

Producer Carrie Gouskos also posted her own memories of the game on this somber occasion, including the revelation of a now-cancelled Asian F2P edition of the game and a vampire-themed expansion. "It has been a tremendous honor to work with Games Workshop and even though we may be parting ways, our relationship with them remains strong," she wrote. "And now, hopefully, because this may be the last thing I ever write about Warhammer, I'll be allowed to acknowledge the existence of Chaos Dwarves. Or maybe not."

The Game Archaeologist: What I loved about Warhammer Online

Fantasy, Warhammer Online, Opinion, The Game Archaeologist, Anniversaries, Subscription

The Game Archaeologist What I loved about Warhammer Online
As I got my start in blogging over Warhammer Online, I've become "the guy" everyone on staff goes to whenever WAR hits an anniversary. The problem is, there's precious little good to say about this title's development over the past year. Pretty much all of the news we've gotten has been negative, from the closure of Wrath of Heroes to the elimination of the six-month subscription to the departure of its most vocal developers. TL;DR version of my feelings on the topic: WAR needs F2P or it will die probably much sooner rather than later.

But instead of going maudlin and piling on the obvious, I want to go down a different road today for the sake of those who loved and perhaps still love Warhammer Online. Obviously, people continue to play it even though its day in the spotlight is long gone, and I'd like to chime in with some positivity for a change. After all, WAR's celebrating its fifth anniversary, and that's pretty cool.

So in honor of that, here's a list of seven things that I loved about WAR from my time playing it and why it wasn't quite the abysmal failure that revisionist history has made it out to be.

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The Game Archaeologist: Classic MMOs in July

Anarchy Online, Asheron's Call, Dark Age of Camelot, EverQuest, MMO Industry, Warhammer Online, News Items, Opinion, Star Wars Galaxies, Ultima Online, RuneScape, The Game Archaeologist, Miscellaneous

The Game Archaeologist Classic MMOs in July 20
It's been over a month since our last round-up of news, events, and community features covering the classic MMOs we know and love. You wouldn't think that a lazy summer month would contain a lot of new information regarding these older titles, but these past few weeks have been absolutely hopping.

We've had several anniversaries, patches, player celebrations, mobile adaptations, and more. I'm constantly encouraged to see how players keep the memories of deceased games and the spirit of currently running ones alive throughout the blogging community as well, so we'll look into that today too.

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Some Assembly Required: Five ways MMOs should support player events

World of Warcraft, Age of Conan, Aion, EverQuest II, Events (In-Game), MMO Industry, Warhammer Online, Vanguard, RuneScape, The Secret World, Miscellaneous, Some Assembly Required

Some Assembly Required Five ways all games should support player events and why
Over the course of Some Assembly Required, we've covered a few player-run events out there that haven't been highlighted in their respective game columns. After all, we're all about PGC here, and you can't really get content more player-generated than that! But with all the the possible events across the whole gamut of games, there's no possible way to attend them all, let alone cover them here; there is only so much time in the day and space in the column. Of course, that won't stop me from trying!

From Age of Conan to Warhammer Online, a few of the events I've been able to catch are festivals, races, plays, fishing contests, tavern storytelling nights, quests (yes, quests), treasure/scavenger hunts, trivia contests, arena duels, gambling nights, musical concerts, war games, horse races, weddings, dance-offs, terraforming challenges, auctions, jousts, fashion shows, tournaments, funerals, crafter fairs, and more contests than can even be mentioned. These examples aren't restricted to any one genre, either; creatively concocted events run the gamut and include themeparks like Aion, MOBAs like SMITE, and more -- and not just sandboxes.

As you might have noticed, that's quite a bit of content, content that comes at no cost to the the studio! So why is it these events can be so hard to find? With so much free content at their fingertips, it would behoove studios to make it the norm to support and promote these events. And the tools they need to do so are already at their disposal.

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Jukebox Heroes: Warhammer Online's soundtrack

Fantasy, Warhammer Online, Opinion, Jukebox Heroes, Music

Jukebox Heroes Warhammer Online's soundtrack
Even though it's fashionable to bash Warhammer Online these days (or every day since 2008, I guess), I still have a lot of affection for this particular game. It was the MMO that got me into blogging, connected me with many of my current online friends, and provided exciting experiences for well over a year. So when I hear the music, there's a rush of nostalgia that floods my brain and runs down to my extremities.

That's not to say it's a particularly terrific score. I'd probably classify Warhammer Online's soundtrack as slightly below average; it does the job it needed to do, but it doesn't provide any stellar breakout tracks that will endure long after I've logged out. Still, it's worth examining.

The score was handled by Mythic in-house composer Brad Derrick (who also helped to make an amusing Dwarf ballad while he was there). What did he come up with to represent this savagely twisted world? Let's find out!

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The Daily Grind: What obscure fluff feature would you like to see in other games?

Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Warhammer Online, Opinion, The Daily Grind

You probably can't see this Bright Wizard's medals, but he has some, trust me
The other day I was thinking about Warhammer Online. I've no idea why. I haven't played the game in ages and to be perfectly frank, I didn't much care for it when I was playing. One thing I fondly recall, though, was that nifty feature that let you display medals and assorted military-style decorations on your avatar.

I can't recall seeing that in another MMO, and it's one of those quirky quality-of-life things that I wish every game would implement. What about you, Massively readers? Is there an obscure fluff feature out there you're particularly fond of and that you'd like to see become a standard?

Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!

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