Eurogamer speaks to WAR devs

Paul Barnett and Jeff Hickman, along with ‘an entire pack of Warhammer Online bigwigs’ spoke to Eurogamer yesterday in a live chat, where they gave snippets of information about the game events, the Land of the Dead, the new classes, and future plans for the game. I’ve copied and pasted some of the bits I found most interesting, but good ol’ Eurogamer has put the entire transcript up, so you can go read it in its entirety.

Tomb Kings or The Land of the Dead is a massive zone which is broken up into two parts – The Necropolis and the Tomb of the Vulture Lord.

It is RvR-gated. In other words, each realm must fight for ownership and the dungeon is expected to change hands nightly…

It is full of new and interesting PQs, new lairs, refreshing game mechanics, new rewards and loot and generally awesome new stuff.

Many of the great things from Darkness Falls will be built upon. Tokens, other loot methods, wide level range, and the thrill of your enemy always breathing down your back.

It is accessible from around levels 25 and up. The Tomb of the Vulture Lord is actually a super high level area designed to supplement our end game content after Lost Vale.

So we are working on multiple events as part of the Call to Arms campaign, two of which specifically revolve around eluding to or gaining access to The Land of the Dead.

What you are specifically referring to is our race for access, the main plotline behind the Rise of the Tomb Kings (Live event #3). This event represents a race to first access (limited time exclusive access) to the dungeon. This will be an Order vs. Destruction race for superiority.

CC is definitely something we talk about almost on a daily basis. We will continue to talk and then tweak the abilities to get as close to perfect as we ever can.

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MJ Followup Interview with Eurogamer

Following Paul Barnett’s comments to Eurogamer earlier this week, Mark Jacob called them for a quick ‘damage control’ interview where he explains that EA is really really good at distributing games and it’s not true at all that they don’t know anything about MMOs. The EA Online Store hasn’t been doing an especially good job on distribution but we’re not inclined to argue the point since our CEs arrived in the post today.

He also discusses the launch, how Mythic expect realm populations to pan out and what sort of plans they have up their sleeves if adjustments need to be made (he mentions the idea of a renown bonus for the weaker side).

He also notes that in the first 24 hours of headstart launch, they received 0.5 pieces of feedback per server. A cynic might wonder if that meant that the feedback system wasn’t working, but actually I know it was because I reported a minor graphics bug and got an email acknowledgement.

He also predicts that it’ll be a few weeks before any capital cities get attacked. It’s a good interview, go follow the link.

Eurogamer Interview: Paul’s thoughts on everything

Eurogamer.net have posted up an awesome interview with Paul Barnett (Creative Director at Mythic) that they did at Games Day. (We were outside the room taking pictures of Ardua caressing a plastic Chosen.)

On how many players he (personally) predicts:

I don’t know what the business people have – they have all sorts of crazy numbers, and things to do with shareholders, and things that would probably get me fired. But we’re having a staff pool. I put down my bet: a million within the year, and then three million.

On expansions and updates:

GOA and Mythic have got a great track record of doing loads of content for free throughout the life of the product, followed by expansions every year or year and a half. WAR definitely is going to follow the same route. We already have a live team, a core team and an expansion team in the studio right now who’ve been working on all the different elements.

On Public Quests:

They pass my genius test. If you see something, and the first time you see it you end up slapping your forehead and going yeah of course, it’s obvious, whatever it was is probably genius.

On GOA:

GOA did it with Dark Age of Camelot and they’ve done it really well. They’ve done it in a very European way, but they’ve done it very well, and it’s more of the same.

On EA in Europe:

They know nothing about launching MMOs in Europe, unless it’s spending lots of money closing them down I suppose.

On why to play WAR instead of WoW:

It’s funnier than WOW. It’s easier to play, but all the dragons are still left to slay: in WOW, there really isn’t that much to do, not any more. You can wait for two years and get another ten levels, but you’ve probably seen it and done it.

Why not to play WAR:

If you really, really don’t like MMOs, you don’t like the subscription model, then I’d say stay away, mate. Don’t be a hater.

See, this is why they are professional journalists and I’m not. I just asked about the trousers 🙂

Start your engines: first review up

Eurogamer has a review up of WAR (it’s not actually the first review, but possibly first since closed beta — in a non-blog at any rate). And it’s good.

It’s been obvious for some time now that Warhammer Online would be fighting-fit for its launch, and that’s absolutely the case. With those final troublesome crash bugs eradicated, the game boasts sturdy networking, stable servers, rare bugs, a functional and detailed interface, a lavish amount of quests and play styles, and a reasonably if not spectacularly well-optimised engine (the frame-rate struggles a little more than it should, although most landscapes are more than usually busy with monsters and NPCs). With the account-creation problems of European operator GOA now ironed out, this is a very solid gaming experience, by MMO standards.

They gave it 8/10.  (Cheap bastards 😉 )

And in other news, it looks as though the authentication is back up on the GOA site.

Another one slips through the NDA

It’s eurogamer.net’s turn to cut a bloody swath^D^D^D (ED: this isn’t conan you know?), to escape from the confines of the NDA and tell us what they really thought of the WAR beta.

Go read it, I’ll wait.

Done? Right then, I am again impressed that like gamespy they have clearly spent some time playing the game and had time to think about both what they liked and what they didn’t. Like everyone else who has tried them, they loved the Public Quests (you will too) but they have also pointed out some of the downsides. They also have some comments to make on realm imbalances and how so much of the RvR action on the beta servers is concentrated on the Empire V Chaos realm.

We’ll no doubt hear much more about all of these things later, and speculate as to why this is the case and if it is likely to be true in live servers also. Anyway it was a good article, hope you like it as much as we did.

It’s both thoroughly and accessibly massive: you don’t need to join a guild or even a group to find yourself warring against or alongside dozens of other players. At this stage of the closed beta, it’s halfway to pulling it off: all it needs, we hope, is more players, to spread the war out across more fronts.