The Game Archaeologist: Happy birthday, Warhammer Online and Fallen Earth!

The Game Archaeologist Happy birthday, Warhammer Online and Fallen Earth!

September is a special month for me because it was around this time that two MMOs personally meaningful to me launched. Four years ago, Warhammer Online came into being amid a flurry of hype, insane expectations, and fan frenzy. It's the game that excited me enough to start my journey as a blogger, eventually landing me a spot here on Massively. And three years ago, Fallen Earth opened my eyes to how much fun an MMO about the end of the world and crafting could be.

Despite the fact that neither of these titles qualifies for the title of "success" these days, I still bear a soft spot in my heart for them. I spent well over a year in each game, racking up several memories and useful lessons that I'd carry with me going forward. And I don't regret a single day playing them.

Since this month is the fourth anniversary of WAR and the third of Fallen Earth, I wanted to offer a hearty "congrats!" and take a minute to see what's been moving and shaking in these games during this past year.

The Game Archaeologist Happy birthday, Warhammer Online and Fallen Earth!

This year in WAR...

It's hard to argue that Warhammer Online is not a shell of what it once was, although there is certainly a faithful crew still playing and enjoying this title. What I've kept wondering, both to myself and to friends, is whether Mythic has all but abandoned this game. My concern is that it feels as if the attention and what limited funds were left have been shifted over to Wrath of Heroes. There's also the fact that WAR doesn't look to be going free-to-play at all. Correct me if I'm wrong, but those two things do not bode well for the future.

So let's take a look at what did occur this past year.

Patches have to be the thing everyone focuses on, and there were actually two since the third anniversary. January's patch 1.4.5 reopened the long-dormant fortresses. June saw the last major update to the game, patch 1.4.6. This was the big RvR patch that refocused PvP matchups to renown levels instead of character levels and boiled down city invasions to a single 60v60 map.

Regular live events, such as Keg's End and the Night of Murder, continued to pop up on players' radars.

Several servers were merged over the year, and folks on Gorfang, Karak Azgul, and Drakenwald had to move to find a new home. I think at this point that there's a single US and a single EU server.

WAR players were encouraged to give the new MOBA version of the game, Wrath of Heroes, a try. In April, Mythic announced that WAR subscribers would get a gold and XP bump in WoH.

Finally, WAR hit its fourth anniversary this week with an in-game bonus event and the anticipation of patch 1.4.7 later this month.

We've an interview with the folks at Warhammer Online coming up later this week, so stay tuned!

The Game Archaeologist Happy birthday, Warhammer Online and Fallen Earth!

This year in Fallen Earth...

Fallen Earth kicked off its third year of operation by shifting into full free-to-play mode under the guiding hand of GamersFirst. I was truly excited to return to the game in its F2P version after several months away, and the first few weeks were pretty fun as new players streamed into the system. Unfortunately for me, Fallen Earth is the type of MMO that requires a lot of time to really get into, and I just didn't have enough to spare.

With free-to-play came a slew of promotions and attempts to part wastelanders with their money. Fallen Earthwent up on Steam, threw a contest, and offered a first-time purchaser's package.

It wasn't an easy year for the team, as layoffs brought the content team down to a meager three devs.

Patches kept rolling in all year long. Alliances went "poof" in patch 2.27, and plenty of PvE content for higher levels came out in patch 2.3. Patch 2.4 arrived this past spring, bringing the much-vaunted global territory control system with it. Other updates included revamping the town of Haven and Embry, not to mention streamlining the new player experience. Following that, we got a promising state of the game report in June meant to be longer on promises than actual time tables.

Right in time for the game's third anniversary, Fallen Earth came out with patch 2.5 and the new G.O.R.E. weapons. It's not the biggest patch I've ever seen, but it's still... well, it's a patch.

Fallen Earth and WAR may not be the heavyweights that get all the water cooler talk, but the Game Archaeologist loves the big and small alike. Happy birthday, you two!

When not clawing his eyes out at the atrocious state of general chat channels, Justin "Syp" Olivetti pulls out his history textbook for a lecture or two on the good ol' days of MMOs in The Game Archaeologist. You can contact him via email at or through his gaming blog, Bio Break.