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BioWare Mythic
MMORPG | Genre:Fantasy | Status:Cancelled  (est.rel 09/18/08)  | Pub:Electronic Arts
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Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning Interviews: 1.3.2 Interview

By Jon Wood on October 23, 2009

MMORPG.com:

1.3.2 is a patch that makes some pretty major changes to the way that WAR plays. Can you run us through a few of the changes that might surprise people who haven't played the game in a while?

Jeff Skalski:

Yeah we definitely made some changes that might catch a few off guard, but let me break them down and explain.

  1. Fortress removal - Let me call the elephant out in the room and cut straight to it. The way we wanted fortresses to work in the game just didn't pan out as originally designed, so now we wiped the slate clean of them and are now challenging ourselves to come up with a better purpose for them in the long run that will make them more enjoyable. Any T4 player in WAR who participated in the RvR campaign knows how frustrating a fortress siege can be. On top of that, we started noticing a trend that a lot of players never even had an opportunity to participate in a city siege which was just a clear indicator that it was time for a change. Pairings still need to be capture in order to access your enemies city, but now no longer are fortresses a bottleneck to making that happen.
  2. New characters made begin in EvC. - I just made a Choppa and now I begin in the Chaos starter area? Yes it's true and this was done in order to bolster tier 1's population. Now it doesn't mean we just deleted GvD and HevDe T1's. That would be crazy. They exist and all subscribers can access them just as they normally would do via a flightmaster. We also added a one time use teleport scroll that you'll find in your backpack after creating a character that will allow you to port to your racial starter area. This is for all those players who don't want to run out to a flightmaster and then back. We figured we at least could save you some time if you missed the other T1's that much. ;)
  3. Was just about to mention the Apprentice System, but I see that it's the subject of the next question, so I'll jump over to Combat & Careers. We've been slowly and tactfully making progress and bringing more balance between the careers. Can't wait to read the threads on that comment I made. ;) Keywords, slowly and making progress. We're nowhere near done and wish we could do more each patch while balancing bug fixes at the same time. Over the last few patches we've been addressing AoE and CC concerns that were hindering the "fun" of the game. With 1.3.2 we've retired stun and introduced staggered. We're trying to get away from those 10+ seconds where you simply just can't do anything. Nobody wants to be inactive that long and stagger will now break unlike how stun previously worked when attacked.

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MMORPG.com:

Are you at all concerned that the new Apprentice System is going to prevent many people from enjoying the full scope of content available to them and simply spend their time apprenticed to a max level character?

Jeff Skalski:

Not at all. The way I look at is, why should a player who's paying for our service be restricted to play with whomever he or she wants to because they are not within the "right" range of ranks to enjoy the content? I'm happy we got apprenticing up in for 1.3.2 and we're working through the bugs we encountered on PTS a few weeks ago for apprenticing down right now. The team is trying to get those kinks worked out for 1.3.3, so hopefully all T2-T4 players can enjoy the new low level dungeon Hunter Vale with their higher ranked characters

MMORPG.com:

Why the decision to have each realm start in the same zone (Order = Empire, Destruction = Chaos)? Doesn't this change leave the other four starting zones pretty much irrelevant?

Jeff Skalski:

Pretty much covered these two in an early question, but let me take the opportunity to add some more. ^.^ The team also re-itemized EvC T1 along with making adjustments to the quest flow, added an improved tutorial system and made a couple of tweaks to the RvR lake. We'll continue to push through the chapters and make improvements. Our goal moving forward is too see how the players react to the changes we made so far and move into Tier 2 and beyond.

MMORPG.com:

Are you at all concerned that this move could lead to critics complaining that this narrows the game's scope considerably given that the other race's Capital Cities were cut pre-launch and 1.3.2 sees their starting areas severely scaled back?

Jeff Skalski:

Like I said earlier, the other starter areas still exist and you can go visit them whenever you want. We didn't summon a chaos orbital strike on them. We're just encouraging players to play in EvC tier 1.


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MMORPG.com:

How does putting all new players into a "New Player Guild" facilitate communication any further than the communication methods already available in-game?

Jeff Skalski:

For most current MMO players I can see why you would scratch your head at this, but we have new players coming into the game every day and some come to WAR with little none MMO experience. By automatically placing them in a guild that helps introduce them to the world and its various game mechanics it's not such an overwhelming experience, plus it helps fosters relationships among the players.

MMORPG.com:

With the major city sieges hitting more often after 1.3.2, are you at all concerned that this will belittle what seemed to originally be intended as a special, or rare event?

Jeff Skalski:

Nope, because we run the numbers each week and simply not enough players are getting a chance to see the endgame content. On top of that, just getting to the city is one thing, capturing the city, raiding the dungeons, defeating either two of the warlord encounters, or attempt to capture the king is plenty of special moments as well. And over time we'll be incorporating even more RvR experiences into each of those.

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