AFTER ACTION REPORT [Author: Lum the Mad]

The following was originally a message board post which I decided belonged on the front page. Call it editorial hubris.

OK, I am going to weigh in here. (Pause for requisite size jokes from WW2OL fanbois – god my mail has been fun the past 2 days)

You may remember a little discussion we had a week ago or so about journalism, ethics and this site. As I read it, the conclusions reached were that while we should still rant, rave and talk like drunken sailors, we also have a wooly-defined responsibility to remain one of the more bluntly honest outposts of opinion in gaming (deep breath) journalism.

That being said. I feel if we did NOT warn people off of buying WW2OL, and informing them EXACTLY what they are in for, we would be remiss in our “jobs” as industry watchdogs. What do we need to communicate? In my view, these following opinions.

(1) WW2OL is currently, for the great majority of people, unplayable.

(2) WW2OL’s developers are negligent in allowing WW2OL’s release in this state

(3) WW2OL’s publishers are negligent in only being prepared for 600 simultaneous users on one server when a simple call to EBWorld would have given them a good idea of how many pre-orders they had (and don’t kid yourself – they knew)

(4) Until that negligence is rectified, you purchase WW2OL at your own risk, and not incidentally reward negligent behavior

(5) WW2OL may well be a good game once repaired – our writers/readers do not agree on that point and in any case it most certainly is not for everyone.

I feel that Bruce Rolston’s review covered all of these points adequately. I also feel that if we had delayed an indepth review of WW20L’s features and problems we would have been negligent ourselves.

Despite what the hardcore fans of WW2OL would have you believe – and we’ve been informed that many of the beta testers of WW2OL knew the game was hideously flawed, and in advance of the game’s release planned on exactly the publicity blitz you are witnessing on our forum and others, specifically to save Cornered Rat’s reputation – for literally 99% of the people who purchased WW2OL, there is no game there. After literally redownloading the entire game (calling it a “patch” is a joke), and logging in at 6 AM, the only time that the servers were under the 500 person limit, I found that

the mission structure of the game was broken. The entire point of the game itself was broken. You had to use a bug involving mission creation just to get into the game.

Nothing excuses this. NOTHING. I don’t care how true-to-life the combat experiences are in this game when it works. IT. DOES. NOT. WORK. Releasing the game in this condition is FRAUDULENT.

Mr. Rolston has indicated that he is sticking with the game despite its problems and if in 2 or 3 months it’s moved past its problems and has managed to come close to fulfilling its promise of a dynamic virtual battlefield, he – and we – will update accordingly. Nothing would please us better than to see the MMO market grow, and more importantly for the market to reward innovation in design.

Right now, however, WW2OL does not display innovation, but fraud. And the market should not reward fraud – and neither should you.