The sky has not fallen — yet

We wanted to present different points of view on the news yesterday. It’s not that one is right and one is wrong.

So Mark dropped a bombshell on the community yesterday evening and when I went to sleep last night, I already had seen the initial reactions. We’re going through the typical shock that people have when they get bad news. When I saw all the waves of empathy towards those who had planned to play one of the cut classes, it was as if someone had died. Well, no one died. No one’s dog died. Even my annoying cat didn’t die (just kidding!).

Seriously. The game is in beta, that means that things are getting tested and if they don’t work then they either get fixed or cut. And if it looks as though the initial scope was impractical, then the scope gets changed, and that’s what we saw yesterday. So sure, I’m shocked, but it’s still in beta dammit.

What are the alternatives really? Delay, go with something half-arsed, or cut what isn’t working. The last thing I want to see is another delay — it’s been long enough already, we know the game is playable, and it’s in the nature of MMORPGs that content will be added continually through the lifetime of the game. Even if the content that was cut now doesn’t get added later, there will be more and different things instead.

And by the way, what’s with making these announcements in a random interview and comments on random boards? Surely if anything justified a video blog or explanation on the main site, this would be it? I see GOA still haven’t caught up — can you guys not just get a feed from Mythic’s site, then add your own news in underneath??

Changing the Scope

Going to two cities instead of six changes the scope of the war. I don’t know by how much, I haven’t played the game yet, but it takes some choices away from the players. It’s not necessarily a bad thing in itself, letting people focus on one objective will end up with more people working together. But the game feels smaller now and the scope a bit less epic.

I expect to see these cities sometime. But from the comments about rotating in and out of RvR (I guess that means that there will be one objective for the tier 4 campaign, just it may change), it doesn’t sound as though they want us to be able to choose where we attack. That means that no in-game bait and switch tactics with a fake assault to draw out the defenders. It means that the scope of the RvR has gotten smaller.

Effects on the IP

The Warhammer fans that Mythic was hoping to capture want to see their basic orcs and their empire knights. For some people, that’s non-negotiable. But the thing is, there’s no alternative game that provides those. If they want the MMORPG experience with the Warhammer IP and RvR, this is the only option. When people cool down, they’ll just have to decide if it’s a critical for them. I’m not going to try to talk anyone out of this, if it’s a deal breaker then it’s a deal breaker.

I think Mythic will lose some customers over it. But not as many as if they’d gone live with broken classes.

Changing Expectations

For me this is the big thing. To justify cutting this much content, I now expect that game to be pretty spot-on when it gets released. There’s no more goodwill towards the company, no more making allowances for MMORPGs not being perfect when they first go live. If any of the other classes are broken on release, I’ll be wondering what was so bad about these ones that they couldn’t have patched something in.

I feel like we’ve been told that these things have been cut so that the game can be spectacular. It better deliver on that.

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7 Responses

  1. As it is well known by some I intended to play a hammerer. This was pretty much non-negotiable. I have read about all the other 20 classes and none caught my attention. So for me it is a huge problem. I have gone from a highly anticipated game to a game I have little interest in now. I don’t think any of the team have really addressed this issue to any great extent. What is the resolution to this situation? Mark has made increasing number of comments which lead me to the conclusion that they were not happy with the hammerer. Well I know with a good degree of certainty that the hammerer has not been playable in closed beta for approx 6 months. If you had issues with the classes surely getting it out there and in testing as much as you could would have been the right choice?

    So what does a hammerer, choppa, blackguard, KoTBs do now? Mark tells us we may never get these classes. So what does that mean? Do dwarves never have melee dps? Do dark elves never have a tank? these things are fundamental. Why do high elves have 4 classes but empire and dwarves have only 3? I am sure you can see where I am going with this.

    Right now I feel like I have no options because even if I was determined to wait for the hammerers or any dwarven melee dps to reappear I have been told it will be an indefinate amount of time. How long would you be prepared to wait. If you pre-order a game to play it on release would you be happy to play it some 6-12 months after everyone else?

    So yes the game was in beta and that means you tend to make changes. However I think changes of this magnitude are probably alpha changes not beta changes and certainly not late beta changes.

    The cynic in me tells me that they told us now because they no longer could control the flow of information. They just opened up guild beta which means NDA will drop soon and you can bet the first question all the guild players are asking is where are these 4 classes we have been sold all this time?

    That kind of forces your hand if you’re Mark Jacobs.

    So I’d really like Mark to address people like me and give me a reason to continue to consider playing WAR when you’ve just cut the only class I wanted to play. “try one of the other ones” doesn’t work.

    Honestly the only answer that will fill me with any confidence is that they have decided to delay the game until it is right. It’s not been a problem doing that before. Or that they have decided to launch in to open beta for an extended period of time to work with the fans to bring these four classes to the game.

    I do feel sorry for Paul Barnett. How do you put any kind of positive spin on this?

  2. I completely agree Torvik. The only difference between us is that I’m willing to consider alternatives to the KotBS. If the game really is as great as the one Mythic are now obliged to deliver, it should still be fun playing as a different class.

    However, it seems clear to me that the game should be delayed again. Cutting these classes to ensure that the current release schedule is met may be good for business, but it isn’t good for the game.

    I refuse to swallow the lie that extra development time could not have resolved the issues with these classes. If it really is the case, Mark Jacobs needs to be doing a lot more to convince us of the fact.

    He is also mistaken when he says that another delay would have harmed the game more than these cuts. Would anyone in the community really have been that surprised at one more delay? Sure, there would have been anger, but it would have ebbed away after a couple of weeks, just like last time. The anger at these cuts will endure for far longer.

  3. Who plays MMOs because of one specific class? Did you only play past MMOs because you saw one class that you wanted to play? They removed the class because they were not fun. This probably means that you wouldn’t have fun playing them, either. A delicious burger is still delicious without the bacon!

  4. @ Aikau

    Whether it was fun to play or not for me should be my decision not theres. Given the fact that this was one of the FIRST classes to be introduced in the marketing information they should have had plenty of time to correct any misgivings. Please note I am dismayed that melee dps could not be made fun. That is a fundamental flaw if true. Also note that they have put a significant amount of time into gameplay assests of these classes.

    So to requote you “Is a delicious burger still delicious without the burger in it?”

  5. That’s the problem. You are making the bacon, the burger 🙂

    What a delicious analogy.

  6. Either way if I see a bacon burger advertised I expect both a burger and some bacon when it arrives.

    One without the other is not what I ordered. Regardless of how much importance I place upon them 😉

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