Games Day Recap (RvR Packs and Other Things)

My main reason for attending Games Day Baltimore was to get some scoop on the recently announced RvR Packs. I was also hoping to get the opportunity to ask some questions about other things. It was also a good time to see a tabletop game I used to be pretty passionate about. And lastly I was looking forward to meeting some fellow bloggers who I happen to play with in game from time to time. All around I had fun and came away with some new friendships and thoughts on the game I enjoy playing.

Mykiel live-streamed the WAR presentation (not sure if he will post any recordings of it or not), Artiee has a contest, and Gaar has our developer Q&A transcripted as only he can. In attendance from Mythic were:

James Casey, Associate Producer
Mike Wyatt, Design Lead
Nate Levy, Design Lead
Steven Engle, Designer
James Nichols, Community Lead

After a brief presentation of past, present, and future … the floor was opened to questions. Some things we know for definite:

  • Next weekend (8/27) we will be getting the new scenario The Eternal Citadel. So for those that enjoyed the Ironclad and 6v6, here you go! It will be a deathmatch format where randomly a player will be highlighted and then … well … everyone tries to kill them.
  • Then starting on Tuesday, 8/31, the Wild Hunt Live Event will make its return. This means the Hunter’s Vale dungeon will be made available to players of all tiers. So if you missed your chance to get the Fleet Stag Mantle get in there. The event will last for two weeks.
  • The new Armor Art was always in the game … and is out there to be found. In discussing it with the devs, it sounds as though more could come out of this system down the line.
  • Armor Variants like we’ve seen on the revamped Sovereign gear may one day be trickled down to lower sets of gear (Warlord, Invader, etc.). Nothing concrete but it is something they have been looking at doing.
  • We will be getting an “expansion” in the form of three separate RvR Packs.
  • The Renown Rank Cap will be raised to 100. It appears this will happen for all players whether you buy the RvR Packs or not.
  • There will be incentives/buffs/etc. to assist players in ranking up their renown … how players get these has not been revealed.
  • Skaven will be playable by both sides in some form or fashion.
  • The three packs will offer things for players in all tiers.
  • There will be two new armor sets that correspond with renown ranks similar to past sets.
  • No immediate plans to further the Ward System upwards … so Supreme remains the top ward.
  • The Renown Rewards system will be changing.
  • Paid server transfers are coming — no date when this will be available. As always, Mythic will continue to put incentives on select servers to manage populations.
  • Character name changes may also become a paid feature. Would be nice if they did something similar to Champions Online where people could have the same first name.
  • The Vanity Pets referenced in White Dwarf magazine will be coming. How they will be “gettable” is left unknown although I imagine these may come in the “Personality” RvR Pack (just my theory).
  • They haven’t forgotten about some of those missing scenarios for the Weekend Warfronts … they will eventually make an appearance but obviously, they are focused on 1.4 and the RvR Packs. So we should expect repeats from time to time.
  • The one thing I was sad to hear is no new plans for a Guild Rank increase.

Patch 1.4
With the recent elevation of 1.3.6 we’ve seen the first of two major changes to RvR. The Against All Odds mechanism has proved interesting. And since it’s gone live there’s been an increase in RvR. Yesterday was an example of pure battle across every pairing nearly non-stop all day. I can’t speak for other servers but Iron Rock was rockin’. Having gotten some 400% renown it’s a nice incentive to get out there and take a chance.

The next patch will be 1.4 which will implement the second part of the RvR revamp. We now know that VPs will be going away and also going the way of the dodo are the Domination Timers. How are we supposed to lock zones … lock pairings … get to the city? Mythic wouldn’t spill the beans but they said the new mechanic would be simpler, more straight forward, and would have incentives that will make players want to get out and RvR. They said that a clear goal or objective would be pointed out that would have people fighting. If it’s easier to understand and promotes players mixing it up … then it’s a good thing.

If patch gaps hold true we should see 1.4 in November/December.

RvR Packs
This really is the big news coming out of last week — GamesCom thru Games Day. Three “expansions” in a sort. Asking whether these would come in-synch with Patch 1.4 was left fuzzy. I assume we’ll see 1.4 come first, followed soon thereafter by the packs. These packs will be Skaven themed and despite the devs not mentioning a date … Carrie had said we’d see these in December (but of course acts of God could alter the timeline). Each pack will focus on something different and according to the devs … they would have lots of “cool stuff”. That was a trend … everything will have “cool stuff”. Now if we just knew what the cool stuff was …

We saw some concept art — Skaven related — and it was confirmed that the Skaven will be playable by both sides of the game although not in the traditional sense. This lends to two different theories: 1) Players can unlock them by reaching a certain level by purchasing one of the RvR Packs; or 2) They will be a ‘Monster Class’ that players can assume to wreak havoc on other players. Odds appear to be leaning towards the latter which may leave some players lackluster in their implementation.

The Skaven zone itself was something I was trying to figure where, oh where, it would be found? One youngster at the presentation asked several questions about this and the devs didn’t give up exactly … they did say it was under the Warhammer world. Does this mean they will be accessible from multiple zones, all zones, or one? The thing we do know is their network of tunnels runs practically everywhere.

I’ve already put forth some theories on how I feel these packs will land. Power … is the one I am most fuzzy about. If this pack offers items and gear that grant your toon power, that would mean players must buy their way to OP-ness. That doesn’t sound like a good idea and the Devs eluded that they do not want to go that route. Progression is the one that is now making a lot more sense. Whether you buy the pack or not, you’ll be able to level up your RR to 100. I’m betting that within this pack will be buffs, items, or things that will help make the leveling process easier or smoother. For those that have capped at 80 they can attest at what a climb it can be. And lastly Personality still seems to me like the fluff pack. No clear bullets were given on what it will contain but thinking about this on my own I wouldn’t be surprised if it has things for your toon’s physical appearance, emotes, titles, and those vanity pets I referenced above (player housing, perhaps?).

This is how we will be getting expansions in the future. It’s a model that’s a bit more flexible and should give us new stuff on a more frequent basis. As the devs said, they will focus future packs on things that we want. So if the Power pack is well received by the community, then we can expect more packs in that vein. Personally, I’d rather receive more new stuff sooner than waiting two years in between. Pricing was never discussed but one assumes they will be priced to sell.

Proof In the Pudding?
Well, I know there were many left mad at the “announcements” we got last week. Some wanted to hear it all — details, details, details. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to hear more, too. I did. But soaking it all in I feel somewhat content knowing that the game is vibrant, profitable, and there is new content of significance on the way. And as a post on the forums by Andy attests (scroll down about halfway), we will be getting more details over the next few weeks and months. Working with marketing folks, guess what … they do call the shots when it comes time to release info about new product. End of story. This past week was a tease … in that it’s teased out information to the gaming community and to the playerbase. If they had spilled the beans I would’ve been surprised … that’s not how it’s done. I learned that “no comment” seems to mean “yes but we can’t say anything” or that it’s something they are thinking about for a later date.

The thing to remember here is that the devs do listen. They obviously have a plan in place but as with other items, they will be testing the waters. That’s rare in games … so use the opportunities wisely to voice your approval or not on what is planned. Playing both sides on the same server — player feedback nixed that. Friendly collision being turned off — again, we voiced our concerns and it was shelved. Granted, not every comment we make at a whim will be incorporated — that’s not feasible — but they are listening. The thing that’s sunk in for me is the type of game we are playing. Expansions in the PvP world are a bit trickier than PvE equivalents. It’s easy to expand WoW … every two years or so you add on 10 more levels, more gear, and throw in a new 24-man raid or two. Is that what you want for WAR?

So whether you feel you got enough information out of GamesCom and Games Day, the bottom line is we did learn much. It might not have had the depth of details we were hoping for but there’s plenty there to ponder and be excited for. And by now, we should know they are going to be tight lipped. As difficult as it is to be patient, it’s important to know that we’ll soon learn what’s coming … all in good time.

More will be announced at Games Day UK (9/26). So to my UK blogging friends … hope you can attend!

2 Responses to “Games Day Recap (RvR Packs and Other Things)”

  1. Nice post, Kro. I agree, we may not have heard everything we wanted to hear about, but it’s out there, and it’s coming, and that’s a pretty darn good start.

    • Thanks! It was a good time and we did learn some things. More will be released at Games Day UK and we should be getting a post or two from Andy on the forums.

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