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News & Features Discussion  » General: Interview with Matt Firor

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24 posts found

Novice Member

Joined: 1/07/04
Posts: 2425

OP  8/07/06 1:12:39 PM#1

Matt Firor was the producer of Dark Age of Camelot and Executive Producer for all of Mythic until he stepped down a few weeks ago. Hot on the heels of the EA deal to buy Mythic, the timing was conspicuous to say the least. We get the truth from Matt about why he left. Now that you’ve left, can you tell us what you think of the EA/Mythic deal?

Matt Firor: Everyone wants me to dish some dirt on this one! Really, I think it's a good thing. We all know EA has had some problems in the past with absorbing acquired companies, but the new management there is committed to making the EA / Mythic relationship work, and I have no reason to doubt their sincerity. They need Mythic just as much as Mythic needs them – EA knows that online games are the future of this industry, and they are setting Mythic up to lead their online MMO efforts. The last thing they want to do is jeopardize their investment in the studio.

You can read more here.

Dana Massey
Formerly of
Currently Lead Designer for Bit Trap Studios


Novice Member

Joined: 7/07/04
Posts: 238

You're just jealous because the voices only speak to me.

8/07/06 2:17:02 PM#2

Not a bad write up.

I'm still bitter about ToA though.

And now I'm jealous about the whole "I got enough money to take time off" thing.


Novice Member

Joined: 7/02/04
Posts: 3010

8/07/06 3:34:43 PM#3
As much as the "hardcore" bitched about Mythic, they did a great job and Firor was a major part of that.  ToA may have been the turning point of DAOC, but it was not the downfall.  I sure loved that game up to ToA and for a short while after Frontiers.

Novice Member

Joined: 6/06/04
Posts: 1617


8/07/06 5:18:23 PM#4

daeandor... 666 posts ::::04::

But anyways... great article. I like that he pointed out what MMOs are really about, and I think a lot of people lose touch of.

The plain and simple fact is that we want to have fun. Too many people make games that have really neat and complex end games, and the beginning of the game is nothing but grind with little to no community involvement (teaming, helping, etc). If people would take a step back and look at the more successful titles, they always stress a fun early game experience, with community involvement.

In WoW you get to experience your first instance (the most team based gameplay in all of WoW) within the first 20 levels.

Anyways, great write up, glad to see he is happy.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/22/04
Posts: 117

8/07/06 6:23:05 PM#5


Too many MMOs fall into the trap of being designed for a small group of loud hardcore enthusiasts.


You, sir, are my hero!


Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/06/06
Posts: 276

8/08/06 1:05:35 AM#6
Great interview! I liked the opinion on what mmorpgs should be.
  User Deleted
8/08/06 8:28:54 AM#7

"Honestly? Making bad, overcomplicated games. MMOs are about losing yourself into a new community; being able to meet friends, slay monsters, and feel like you're part of something bigger than your everyday life. It doesn't have to be over-designed, over-produced, have the most insane graphic requirements, etc."

Gee, Matt, you mean like DAoC? My main criticism of the game is the clunky UI -- tiny icons at a high resolution makes a game complicated to use.

DAoC's graphics requirements are a bit high also. I can play WoW, Guild Wars, even UO without problems on my notebook, but not DAoC! Choppy frame rates and transparency problems make it very difficult to "lose myself" in the community. The underlying game is good, but you have to pentrate bad usability to get there.

I hope you gave Mythic the same message in your exit interview


Novice Member

Joined: 5/21/04
Posts: 289

I have a pancake on my head.

8/08/06 8:52:49 AM#8

Honestly? Making bad, overcomplicated games. MMOs are about losing yourself into a new community; being able to meet friends, slay monsters, and feel like you're part of something bigger than your everyday life. It doesn't have to be over-designed, over-produced, have the most insane graphic requirements, etc. It just has to be fun and make people want to log in and experience it. Too many MMOs fall into the trap of being designed for a small group of loud hardcore enthusiasts.

Sounds like he's talking about Vanguard to me.

Great interview. Good luck with those kids Matt!



Novice Member

Joined: 4/10/05
Posts: 399

The eye will be watching

8/08/06 12:26:07 PM#9

Give this guy about five years and this guy will start thinking about making a new mmo.  With three of four of his friends, they could start a new company and make a new mmo that will probably mirror DAoC.

jd1680a Xfire Miniprofile

Novice Member

Joined: 6/24/06
Posts: 12

8/08/06 12:27:56 PM#10
Cheers to Firor.

Novice Member

Joined: 8/03/06
Posts: 124

8/08/06 1:00:48 PM#11

It seems to me that he is leaving for very wise reasons.

Adobpting two kids at the same time sounds like a big decision that is going to eat a lot of his time.

DAoC was groundbreaking to say the least so I'll be interested to see what his next project will be.


Novice Member

Joined: 11/11/05
Posts: 160

8/08/06 5:48:10 PM#12
The cancellation of Imperator was an awful dissappointment. AO should not stand alone as the only 1st person sci-fi MMO.

Other than that it was an interesting read.

Novice Member

Joined: 8/08/06
Posts: 564

The voice of reason

8/09/06 5:11:09 AM#13

I played DAoC since US release and later on switched to Euro, I liked it a lot. Whatever people always whined about it was (and still is) a VERY good PVP game, also the PVE was nicely done too, much more fun than (for instance) WOW PVE because it had more variables and required more teamwork.

On Matt's statement of niche MMO's; I play EVE now which is very much a niche MMO, but because of that it thrives and just keeps on going and growing.


Novice Member

Joined: 7/21/06
Posts: 24

8/09/06 10:28:31 AM#14

"The grand majority of players of these games – and I'm talking like 99% - don't care about most of the problems that get ranted about daily on MMO-related message boards – both player AND developer oriented ones. Simplicity – especially in the first 20 hours of gameplay, is critical to the success of any new MMO."

I laughed hard when I read this. As a person who used to play DAoC, and quite active on the forums I find this remark a back handed slap and an example of this guys ignorance. Lets get something straight. Well before WoW came out, people on the forums were complaining about buff bots, ToA, and balancing class as if they were always buff botted. These complaints when unheard all the way till WoW came out and surprise surprise WoW crushed DAoC despite the fact that WoW has a bad pvp/rvr system. The simple fact that servers pops fell so much and the creation of the classical servers prove this. Matt, you were wrong, and you still are.


Novice Member

Joined: 6/07/06
Posts: 31

8/12/06 9:42:40 AM#15
"Too many MMOs fall into the trap of being designed for a small group of loud hardcore enthusiasts."

Someone tell me where the hardcore enthusiasts are that are clamoring for endless grinds are so I can beat them silly.

Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/29/05
Posts: 232

In the land of the blind the one eyed man is king - LAST OF THE MOHICANz

8/13/06 3:18:00 AM#16

I wish the best to Matt and concur that EA, despite past events, should be good for the game.

I have to disagree with his view that games should be simple at first to immerse one into the "new world"...I believe the best games are in fact the ones with immense graphical detail, which have been balanced to pefection and most important, can be easy for the new to  mmorg  player to pick up but should have the complexity and depth to entertain the hard core player too from the start...from experience Guildwars and to some extent City of Villains achieved this...Dark Age of Camelot looked like a wrongun from the day i loaded the trial...


Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/12/05
Posts: 1285

8/14/06 12:21:04 PM#17

Some of Matt's comments were right on and some seemed to show he's a bit out of touch with the gaming community.  I personally believe that Matt left because of the EA deal despite what he says.  He probably didn't want to become an EA Slave Bot and was given a nice fat check to put on a good face and leave.  I can't say I'd blame him if that was true.

EA will not be good for Mythic.  If anyone thinks otherwise then ask yourself this:  how is EA-Westwood and EA-Origin doing lately hmmm?  Oh wait, there IS no Westwood or Origin anymore....

All in all an intersting read.


Novice Member

Joined: 7/24/03
Posts: 1448

I r0x j00 r0x we all r0x

8/15/06 1:41:33 AM#18
Did someone say DaoC was groundbreaking ? LOL
Was the word used to describe Matt "LEGENDARY" ??
I think you have to design more than one EQ expansion (DaoC) to be called legendary .

I think he is wrong, although I had a similar view in the past, about too many games being made for too small of a market.  The big games are still being made for a mainstream playerbase, but in their ambition of making an original title they end up making niche games by mistake.  I think DaoC and WoW prove that it is much more proiftable to take the last big seller , make an improvement, slap on a new name, and the results are stellar.

The games that are made to target small player bases intentionally however can survive I think, since they are made on a smaller budget also.  Tale in the Desert would be an example, as far as I know that game isn't failing.

It's better be hated for who you are, than loved for who you aren't.


Novice Member

Joined: 6/15/06
Posts: 113

Not a big truck.

8/15/06 5:46:53 PM#19
Softball with Matt Firor.  What, was the question, "How super!fun! was it to work at Mythic?" too hard-hitting?

I agree with JohnM81.  What a lame excuse for why Mythic decided to ignore player concerns and let WOW siphon off their player base.

I lol'd at the part about keeping MMO's simple.  He must have meant DoAC is a great example of how to NOT make a game user-friendly and instead how to bore you out of your mind by lvl 10.

Previous played: SWG (pre-NGE), DAoC, CoH, Anarchy Online, DDO, Champions Online Beta, LOTRO, GW2, SWTOR


Novice Member

Joined: 5/31/04
Posts: 127

8/15/06 8:01:27 PM#20

Originally posted by cfurlin

"Honestly? Making bad, overcomplicated games. MMOs are about losing yourself into a new community; being able to meet friends, slay monsters, and feel like you're part of something bigger than your everyday life. It doesn't have to be over-designed, over-produced, have the most insane graphic requirements, etc."

Gee, Matt, you mean like DAoC? My main criticism of the game is the clunky UI -- tiny icons at a high resolution makes a game complicated to use.

DAoC's graphics requirements are a bit high also. I can play WoW, Guild Wars, even UO without problems on my notebook, but not DAoC! Choppy frame rates and transparency problems make it very difficult to "lose myself" in the community. The underlying game is good, but you have to pentrate bad usability to get there.

I hope you gave Mythic the same message in your exit interview

Huh? I can't count the time I lagged on DAoC (running two accounts on a subpar computer) on one hand. The reason I can't count those times on one hand is because they did NOT exist.

On a similar note...I can't count the number of times I lagged in WoW in one day on one hand. I would need more like 10 hands to count the ammount of times I lagged in WoW (enough to get killed by mobs) every day I played.

DAoC was much more stable. It wasn't that graphic intensive. Granted I couldn't play on the highest settings, but the game looked fine without playing on the highest setting. My computer was nothing special.

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