BioWare Mythic continues to develop Warhammer Online: Wrath of Heroes for fans of the game who want a more direct route to PvP and a free to play environment. At GDC Online we spoke to Eugene Evans VP, Studio GM of BioWare Mythic about what steps they are taking to ensure the game co-exists with the subscription model and how players can get involved in the hardcore aspects of quick PvP battles without having to comit loads of time to level up their characters. In many ways, Wrath of Heroes could be a new option for MMO players which continues to grow and build on its own.
Bioware Mythic explained that the community response has been strong to the game and adding in the three sided PvP of 6v6v6 was a critical choice for players. The company has long been heralded as launching the best PvP game on the market with Dark Age of Camelot, yet some of that magic was lost on Warhammer Online. Using the three sided method and allowing players more options in combat with Wrath of Heroes was an important choice for the team that worked with what players wanted.
This fast paced PvP was important when coupled with easy access to the game. They wanted to take down as many barriers of entry as possible which is why the model is built on a free to play method. Warhammer Online has actually seen an increase is players coming back to the game because they have enjoyed the beta testing for Wrath of Heroes. With this new model, Wrath of Heroes will be introduced to a host of new players which only helps the product overall by growing the community. The development team on the game has the core philosophy of keeping the game fun and engaging. Making sure players can get into fast and furious combat quickly and enjoy the best parts of the Warhammer universe.
The download time is very quick and players will have access to all the heroes on the menu. Once they choose a class to play the action can start with the scenarios. The team has timed it out to about fifteen minute scenarios for players so that they do not feel bound to long drawn out battles. If they want that experience they can go into the larger MMO. A lot of time was spent tweaking the maps from Warhammer Online so they can better serve the players in battle. Also they had to adjust to having three sides come in and fight.
Eugene pointed out that the three sided PvP was critical to the design. As the company had experienced with Dark Age of Camelot there was always a critical point in any fight were two sides may team up against one and wipe them out, then allowing them to turn on each other. Not knowing which way combat was going to go at any given point made for some great game play. It also gave players some serious choices during very fast combat that had to be made. It was the staple of Dark Age of Camelot PvP and it is great to see it returning in Wrath of Heroes.
Some other elements that are important for players to know are that you can ressurect as a different character in combat. So if you find out matched by a team due to their character construction you have the option upon death to come back in with a different style character. Also players have access to five abilities to use during the fight which makes the control of the character a little easier for fast combat. Bioware Mythic has the full support of Games Workshop with the Warhammer IP and this has allowed them to add races like the Skaven and Vampires into Wrath of Heroes.
Wrath of Heroes in many ways is the right choice for Warhammer Online to allow players who enjoy the MMO to also have an outlet for quick PvP is they want it. This model can co-exists with the already high level of PvP in the main MMO. It also opens the door for players to try the game without getting too invested in a major MMO. This change in the times gives players the option if they want to go deeper into the game and join up on the MMO side. If the game balance can be fine-tuned players will have a quick fix to their PvP needs and fully enjoy Warhammer Online: Wrath of Heroes.