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Warhammer Online Producer Discusses Game Features 54

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the designed-to-gank dept.
BigDownload.com has a great interview with Jeff Hickman, Senior Producer for Warhammer online, that offers a great preview of many of the game's features. The interview spends quite a bit of time discussing the "RvR" (Realm vs. Realm) style of gameplay and what that will mean for players. "We generally start everything in our game with a thought toward PvP. PvP isn't the first thing we think of, but it's one of the first things. We think of Warhammer Online as a PvP game that also has monster and PvE content. So, when we balance our careers, we balance the content around player verses player, not fighting monsters. We balance the classes against each other. Then, instead of balancing those classes against the monsters, we balance the monsters against the classes. Our philosophy is to make the best PvP game in the world and build the PvE content around it. We know how much damage each class can do and take, plus all the utility each class can provide. So, instead of balancing each ability, we just need to modify the overall damage output and absorption of each career."
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Warhammer Online Producer Discusses Game Features

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  • Soo.. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Renraku (518261) on Wednesday May 28, 2008 @07:53PM (#23578929) Homepage
    Basically, the support classes will sit there on autoattack until something dies five minutes later, as opposed to the mage/berserker class who will kill in three hits and move on. Brilliant!
    • by lymond01 (314120)
      Meh, support classes. In a game like this, I expect everyone to be able to fight and fight well. Some of those fighters will choose to pick up the ability to bandage and/or magically heal AFTER combat, but none of this health-monitoring-click-heal stuff.

      It's Warhammer...a brutal world. Even the doctor doesn't like you.
    • This is different from all other MMORPGs how? (Tank who spends 10x time soloing content as any DPS class.)
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Gideon Fubar (833343)
      Played Warhammer on the tabletop? The best thing about support units is that they (almost universally) have a built-in method of removing themselves from the game, often taking several nearby allies with them.

      This world is oriented around guys with swords, spears and axes. Normally at least a couple dozen of them.
    • He's right, that's exactly what was said in this interview:

      Then there are healing characters that can also fight very well in our game, but play a role in keeping their friends and allies alive.
      Oh wait... no it isn't.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 28, 2008 @08:12PM (#23579133)
    More like World of Warhammer. Online. Craft...
  • by Gigiya (1022729)
    "We like to think about PvP first...sometimes...usually. We like PvP, and it's important...usually first."
  • PvP vs. PvE? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Bieeanda (961632) on Wednesday May 28, 2008 @08:21PM (#23579241)
    So... what happens when the people who are there for lore and whacking monsters run out of content and start to complain or quit? Don't think that it isn't going to happen, or that they're going to be a tiny contingent-- just look at how Guild Wars has changed since Prophecies launched.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by raptor386 (1212810)
      Same way WoW keeps people interested: Make more content. There are very few guilds that will actually be able to burn through all the available content before more comes out.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        Except all Blizzard do is add new content for the bloody endgamers. Fuck everyone else. We got thrown a bone when they added a slew of new quests to Dustwallow, but other than that, Blizzard ADD NOTHING of use to anyone below level 70. The one time they tried, they A) announced it in advance (the big floaty pyramid thing whose name escapes me) so there was no "HOLY SHIT!" moment when it appeared. And then they utterly fucked up various elements of it and wound up getting rid of it.

        Blizzard are the latest MM
        • Re:PvP vs. PvE? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by cordsie (565171) on Thursday May 29, 2008 @05:00AM (#23583315)
          So stop playing.
        • Concentrating on end-game content makes sense. Keeping old players happy is much easier than trying to get new players to fill the void.

          But I agree on your point about PVP players quitting, PVP in WoW is just too marginal and mostly consists of ganking or sitting in a very limited number of BGs/arenas fighting for new gear.
        • by Apatharch (796324)
          Maybe I'm missing something here, but I just don't see where you're coming from. If you've been playing long enough to take 20+ characters through a substantial portion of the game, how come you don't just run a level 70 and enjoy all the endgame content rather than complain about it?

          Surely the players whose mains are still below 70 are the ones who are least in need of new content, since they haven't yet exhausted the old content...
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Fozzyuw (950608)

          Except all Blizzard do is add new content for the bloody endgamers.

          I've made this comment before, recently, on Slashdot. There's a difference between content and progression for which my argument was (and is) that progression is more important than content, though they are both required and closely linked. What you're referring to is not content, but progression. You're pissed that even though Blizzard adds new things to the game, you cannot do them. So, you're not pissed at the "new stuff", you're pissed at the lack of progression or ability to DO the new stuff.

          And

        • by brkello (642429)
          There is plenty of content for the lower levels. Once you have gone through it with a few characters on both the horde and alliance, you have seen pretty much all it has to offer. What the heck do you expect? That they change the quests for lower levels constantly? That is unrealistic and a waste of their time.

          I have left and come back to WoW many times and each time I am surprised at how much things have changed. If you are continually playing, all these things are gradual so you notice them less. Bu
        • by drsquare (530038)
          You've been playing for three years and you're upset you've run out of content. How many other games can you play for several years and still keep finding new things? Believe it or not, there are other games out there, maybe you should try some.
    • by Wyrd01 (761346)
      One of the nice things about WarHammer Online is that it's more centered around PvP (Player versus Player) than PvE (Player versus Environment). Yes both exist in the game, but the main drive, the overarching campaign, is a PvP struggle, or what Mythic calls RvR (Realm versus Realm).

      What this means is you'll spend much of your time fighting other player controlled character, so every battle is going to be different. The tactic that worked for you yesterday might get you nowhere today. It won't simply be
  • Intrigued (Score:3, Informative)

    by bar-agent (698856) on Wednesday May 28, 2008 @08:56PM (#23579649)
    Sounds pretty good. I am intrigued by how cities can rise or fall. I'm not big into PvP, but I'll probably try it out for that game -- if it comes out for Mac, of course.

    The graphics look pretty detailed, and the breadth of costume choice looks good, but maybe too much uncanny valley there.
  • "We know how much damage each class can do and take, plus all the utility each class can provide. So, instead of balancing each ability, we just need to modify the overall damage output and absorption of each career."

    Is combat (damage) all there is to the game? This is what has made me never want to touch another one of these games again: because there's often no rewarding non-combat activities other than tradeskills. And most games haven't offered a good solution to distributing tradeskill items other th

    • by snookums (48954)

      "We know how much damage each class can do and take, plus all the utility each class can provide. So, instead of balancing each ability, we just need to modify the overall damage output and absorption of each career."

      Is combat (damage) all there is to the game?

      Probably. It's because combat is so easy to code. The combat systems of most MMORPGs that I've seen haven't evolved very far from the original MUDs (or since D&D, if you prefer).

      Also, combat is easy to balance both in PvP and PvE. A fight that lasts 10 minutes max and involves a number of players from 1 to MAX_RAID_SIZE is easy to test. An economy of crafting, shopkeeping, research and development, brokering, banking, thieving, etc. involving hundreds or thousands of players, with all their idiosyncras

      • Man that post was awesome. It encompassed everything I was thinking about. I remember wanting to play Vanguard until I discovered that the Diplomacy system was not at all what they said it would be. I should have known better, but Brad McQuaid has that sort of snake-oil salesman thing down to an art in regards to MMOs. Thank god he probably won't be coming to my neighborhood trying to sell me anything. I'd probably buy him out.
      • by Poltras (680608)

        Is combat (damage) all there is to the game?

        Probably. It's because combat is so easy to code.

        It's not easier to code than non-combat feature, it's just really harder to design (and, implicitly, balance). Just see what happened to Star Wars Galaxy in the long term. An item-based economy is much easier to build and keep balanced (by adding new items or selling overpriced ones from vendors, thus diminishing market-value) than a full-blown economy including 3-tiers professions (gathering, transforming, using).

        Not impossible to do correctly, but really hard. Even our own real-world economy is flawed

    • Re: So stupid (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Xaemyl (88001)
      Dude. You do know the game is called WARhammer, right? What do you expect from a game thats all about armies and killing eachother, and, well, warfare?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Wyrd01 (761346)
      In this game, WARhammer, you're very likely to find it centered around combat. This may not be the MMO for you. I think Mythic has done a good job of making the combat interesting though. There is an overarching campaign goal of pushing your enemy back into their own capital city, and then going in and taking that from them too. You will literally be able to run through their city streets looting buildings and setting things on fire. There will be the usual instanced scenarios, but there will also be m
  • If they include Night Goblin Fanatics as a class, I'm in. Those little buggers would be awesome in PvP!

    Leeeeroy Jenkins's got nuttin on them!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I hope the PvP in WAR is more than just making sure you have one of the two "blessed" classes (the two classes the lead devs play as faves in WoW, whom all others are made lesser).

    So far, other than having one of the two PvP classes, all of WoW's PvP is how much res you have on your stats (i.e. how many months you ran your 10 arena games to get your points to buy your season pieces, only to do it again next season), and if that didn't decide the issue at once, how fast you flicked the mouse and batted the s
    • by Wyrd01 (761346)

      So far, other than having one of the two PvP classes, all of WoW's PvP is how much res you have on your stats...

      One promising thing I've heard in respect to this is that gear is going to be much, much less of a determining factor than in WoW. Mythic wants skill to play a much bigger role than just grinding to get the next piece of armor so you die in three shots instead of two... On that note Mythic is also trying to design things so fights won't be 2, or 3, or even 4 shot ventures. They want people to

  • by Anonymous Coward
    One idea that I can't seem to find addressed is this:

    Lets say that on one server, the greenskins conquer the dwarfs, and get lots of shiny loot doing so. Eventually they get pushed back and the RvR thing restarts, but then the greenskins are given a slight advantage with better gear - wouldn't they continue to dominate?
    • Say that on one server, the greenskins conquer the dwarfs. Then, they conquer the dwarfs. Then, they conquer the dwarfs. And then, they conquer the... what do you mean that all the dwarfs have rerolled on "more fun" servers?

      People don't play MMORPGs to have fun losing.
    • by Wyrd01 (761346)

      ...the greenskins conquer the dwarfs, and get lots of shiny loot doing so.

      Mythic has stated that they intend to make loot matter a lot less than it does in WoW. A lot less. In WoW gear is the deciding factor above all else. If you have tier 5 gear, and I have tier 2 gear, then it doesn't matter how good I am, you win.

      Mythic has stated that gear will give something of an advantage, but they want skill to play a major role in things. They are also designing things so no one will be 2, or 3, or even 4 s

      • by Binestar (28861)


        Mythic has stated that they intend to make loot matter a lot less than it does in WoW. A lot less. In WoW gear is the deciding factor above all else. If you have tier 5 gear, and I have tier 2 gear, then it doesn't matter how good I am, you win.

        Unless you're a rogue and I'm a warlock...
  • Try playing Dark Age of Camelot first, then flame. None of the healing classes in the game complained, and the game was totally group oriented(it was easier to level, farm etc). This game is being produced by the same company, same team who produced DAoC. Don't forget the fact that DAoC had one of the best(the best in my opinion) PvP systems out there, with more than 26 classes(can't exactly remember), all different spells on 3 sides and abilities. The class/faction balance was nowhere to be seen from ti
  • by TheSunborn (68004) <tiller@daimi. a u . dk> on Thursday May 29, 2008 @09:57AM (#23585651)
    PLEASE PLEASE, make a single Realm where each players only have one life. And when he dies he dies. (The user can the ofcause then create a new player).

    My arguments for this:

    It will make it posible for users that don't play so much time to get player charactors that are within the 10% best, because a characters power will be the amount of time played since he last died, not the total amount of time played.

    It will make the player levels a bell curve, meaning that there are only a few really powerfull players. There is nothing fun about reaching $MAX level if >25% of all the other players are also max level.
    This does mean that one team may have a player that can beat any player on the opposite time, but he still can't beat any team of other players.

    It will also make guilds much more usefull. Just imagine that the guild leader is the person with the highest level, and the other members of the guild funciton as kind of "support troops" for the leader. This will be extra cool if the instances insted of limiting the number of players within a group, limit the total number of levels within a group. So if a instance is rated to level 100, you can bring either 2 level 50 players, or a single level 50 player, and 5 support players each at level 10.

    The motivation for beeing a "support troop" in a guild is that a: It might be safer then beeing the front fighter, and b: At a time the front fighter and leader will die, and then the highest level support troop, will be the new leader. (This will be extra cool, if high level players get the ability to give bonuses to a limited number of players within their group).

    (And yes, this system might mean that the xp that users get for killing monsters and players might need to be raised, so that there are top level players at all).

    Giving each player one life, also have the effect that you don't have to limit the number of levels/classes/extras that each player can have.
    Just imagine a d&d mmorpg where a player can be dual class. So imagine he is both a fighter and a mage. The existing mmorpg games can't allow this because when that player reach $MAX level, he will have all the powers of both the mage and the fighter, thus owerpowering any single class player. But with unlimited levels and only one life that will not be a problem, because the player will newer really reach a max level where he can't be better, so for any amount of XP, a dual class fighter/mage might have both classes at level 35, while a single class mage with the same amount of xp, might be at level 50, thus preserving the game balance while allowing interesting combinations. (Dual class players advance slower, because they split their xp between their classes).

    Martin
    • How would that be fun? I am perfectly happy to hit the max level and share that accomplishment with other people. You want a server full of griefers and jerks (sounds like you would like Eve). Most people playing new characters are going to be killed immediately by the people who are unemployed or kids and people will just hide and power level. There will be no balance as the highest level will be able to decimate the lower levels. You might say...but how cool would it be to be that high level. Guess
      • by TheSunborn (68004)
        Now I don't know what the map looks like in Warhammer, but I would imagine that the low level instances were located behind the main city, and thus imposible to reach for the other teams unless they walk throu the enemy main city.

        I just always imagined a map, where there are 2 'main cities' one for each team. And between them a lot of smaller cities, and other structures that the teams would want to capture. (They each start with half of them) Theese should be located between the 2 main cities, thus forming
        • The planet that Warhammer is on has the same continent layout as Earth, save a crescent shaped landmass in the atlantic, Ulthuan, that is home to the high elves.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by illumin8 (148082)

        The fact that they think they are going to perfectly blend a large number of classes in PvP is pretty much a joke. I have yet to see any company do better at balancing things than Blizzard.

        Are you serious? WoW is one of the most unbalanced PvP games out there. You have overpowered classes (lol subtlety stun-lock rogue where their opponent can't take a single action before dying), overpowered racial abilities (lol undead immune to fear) and arena team makeup shows the imbalance. Look at how many Warrior/D

        • by Achoi77 (669484)

          The problem is that people got so caught up with dueling in WoW that at some point before TBC some of the big wigs over at Blizzard thought it would be a good idea to oblige to the duelers. And once it went mainstream with arena, the masses started to complain that all the other classes that they did not play themselves, were overpowered.

          Even just taking a glance over at the pvp forums, you could find a "OMG NERG _OTHERCLASS_ SO OP LOL" for almost every class. People griped at stunlock rogues. People gripe

    • PLEASE PLEASE, make a single Realm where each players only have one life. And when he dies he dies. (The user can the ofcause then create a new player).

      Just go play Nethack and delete your save game when you die. Seriously, modern MMOs and RPGs are not designed like this, and they never will be. Other than a very small minority of the players, people do not like perma-death. How would you like to spend thousands of hours building your virtual character, only to lose it all due to lag or a server disconne

      • by TheSunborn (68004)
        I would not lose anything. If I spendt thousands of hours building my character it would be because doing so were fun, and I don't lose that fun time I had, just because my character died.

        If I had spendt thousands of hours building my virtual character, and I thought that time was wasted, when he died, then I would also feel I hand wasted thousands of hours building my virtual character, even if he newer died.

        Remember: It's a game. If it feels like work playing it, don't do it.

There are worse things in life than death. Have you ever spent an evening with an insurance salesman? -- Woody Allen

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