Archive for Patch 1.4.1

Hiatus Extendicus (January Producer’s Letter)

Posted in Warhammer Online with tags , , , , on February 1, 2011 by krosuss

So … like Punxsutawney Phil, Mythic has crawled out from their hibernation and have seen their shadow. That means six more weeks of nada for the faithful. Groundhog Day jokes aside, this letter was long overdue.

I’m not shocked that Patch 1.4.1 will be a small one to address bugs and to fix things. That is to be expected after the previous patch’s girth. However, some of the flaws we’ve seen since last November are not so easily resolved nor should they be classified as “bugs”. But all of that can be discussed in another post. Let’s focus on the January Producer’s Letter itself.

One major thing that’s coming through loud and clear seems to be a covert move to a F2P model. Why else would there be a push to the forefront on this new interface to get your EA Store items and other oddities? The F2P chestnut has been lurking in the background for quite a long time. Some seem to feel that making a move to this model would be a good thing while others disagree. I’ve never played a F2P MMO so I truly can’t say whether it’s a good or bad idea.

I’ve heard of some successes like Wizard 101 … while there have been some base disasters like Allods Online. I suppose if it’s done the right way it could be a good thing. And many gamers enjoy “free” so if it draws more players to give the game a try then it could be a good thing. There’s a part of me that hates the idea of a potential pay-for-power game. But then the selfish side of me wouldn’t mind paying actual cash for some things (within reason, of course).

For example, I’ve never completed my Sentinel set. As it stands, I’d never wear a single piece of Sentinel again — it’s now beneath me — but the completist in me wants, demands, to finish the set! If I could buy the remaining two pieces I need for a $1 a piece I’d do it rather than run Sigmar’s Crypt ad infinatum. But that could open the gates to a host of other items where those with the cash improve while those on a limited budget do not. That’s where F2P can be a bad thing. The letter mentions additional items becoming available on the EA Store … name changes, more pets, etc. Perhaps this F2P bluster is just that.

Scenario Facelift
Next we learn that the permie scenario list will be mixed up a bit. That’s probably a good thing (as long as Thunder Valley isn’t added). The Maw of Madness was mentioned — I like that! Also mentioned was some of the scenarios will be shuffled between tiers. Imagine the fun of Tor Anroc in Tier 4. I’ll respec just to get Backdraft so I can punt the crap out of people. Lava! We’ll have to wait to learn more about this. With this it would be nice to see some new Weekend Warfronts? Maybe?

Get Me Out of Here!!!
That free server transfers to select servers is on the way could be a godsend. It will also draw the ire of players that have already paid a premium to find fun elsewhere. Fun, by the way, which is something the game should already be providing for our subscription. Since we’ll never get an accurate count on population, isn’t it more likely for a server merger or two? Would it hurt to have a Volkmar/Iron Rock, Volkmar/Gorfang, or Gorfang/Iron Rock merger? That’s what I assume these “free” transfers will be … a merger. My server of Iron Rock has been hit or miss. So far my guild has stuck it out and in the end, I will go where they go.

Awesome Coming … We Swear!
As always, there’s some big, BIG things on the horizon. By ‘Big’ they mean ‘major’. And we’d love to tell you all about them but are constantly reminded of our past promises and failures as we sit on our psychiatrist’s couch wondering what went wrong. Get over it already!

Unless I’m daft, which I very well may be, one assumes Forts are a part of these “new features” we can expect. And when you sit back and think about that, a reimagining of the Forts really isn’t new. If that’s going to be a cornerstone of the new features then how dumb do they think we are? I guess pretty dumb. Maybe we’ll be surprised.

Would it be so hard to outline the entire year and state: “We plan to roll out new zones, new gear, new races, and new classes”? Or mention one quarter of that. Can’t something be promised? Anything? Mythic isn’t the CIA … and keeping the new goodies a secret is pretty much overly old at this point. If this game isn’t going to be turned off, then they should dig into the forums and see what players really truly want. It’s not that hard to discern but it is understood that the resources probably aren’t there to deliver on a significant chunk of what’s being clamoured for. Then be carefully selective on what you focus on. Find the longest thread out there … ((cough-Skaven-cough)) … and do it. The implementation of Skaven in 1.4 didn’t pan out. Then go back and make it right. You’ll be surprised how excited players will actually be.

I’m not alone in saying I want new races, classes, and zones to explore and fight in. And dare I say a new dungeon or two? That would make people excited. All the lore, art, and groundwork is there … it’s almost too easy. Easy? Well, the creative end of it, anyway. The programming, developing, etc. is where the challenge comes in and therein lies the problem.

8 … Yes 8
Live Events seem to be on the menu this year. We’re told to expect 8 of these which could be some nice chunks of new content. We’ll get some of the usual repeats (Night of Murder, Wild Hunt, Daemon Moon/Witching Night, Keg End). So in addition to the 4 repeats we should have 4 new ones coming. Some of these LE’s are a lot of fun and usually spur a resurgence in players and action. Here’s hoping for something cool.

Expansion … Not What You Think
The letter mentions expanding existing areas. This sounds like what so many WAR bloggers have been blogging about since forever: enlarging the RvR lakes. At this point any thoughts of players flodding the PvE parts of each map is not going to happen. Even thought there are some interesting quests, cool sites, and fun PQs … the game has totally turned its back on anything relating to PvE (except for the dungeons). Why they haven’t dug into their old DAOC playbooks to update the WAR zones to mimic those is beyond me. Here’s looking to a bit more substance in the lakes as well as more objectives necessary to flip zones.

Lastly, Congrats!
More real news … Carrie was promoted to oversee all of Mythic’s Live games. This sounds like WAR, DAOC, and Ultima Online. I’ve been happy with the game and communications since Carrie took over … right up until she stopped communicating after 1.4 went live. Congrats on the promotion but sad to see such a drop-off with the communication thereafter.

About That Hiatus
Even though I mentioned in my last post the beginning of this month, I am still on a hiatus. I had all the best of intentions to get back in and play but the urge has yet to grab me. Other games have diverted my attention but I still often find myself thinking of WAR. Believe me, one of these nights I’ll be downloading whatever updates I’ve missed and will be running around. I’m hopeful we’ll get some more news on what’s planned … but I wouldn’t bank on too much info. That’s just the way Mythic rolls.

P.S. The Realm War is still borked.