Archive for Producer’s Letter

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.

F2P?
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.

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Hiatus

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on January 3, 2011 by krosuss

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a happy holiday season and is ready for a hopefully better 2011. I’ve been on a little hiatus from WAR since before the holidays. They are a hectic time of year for me with a lot of family activities and going here, there, and everywhere. It’s a busy time of year and despite intentions, getting into game just didn’t happen.

I did check in on the blogs to see what’s going on and sadly, it sounds as if my Iron Rock home is hurting. What is troubling is the lack of formal communications from Mythic. I totally understand not getting info just before and through the holidays. Heck, I didn’t even login and missed my first Live Event since launch. I’m referring to the monthly Producer’s Letters we’ve come to expect the last day of each month. The last one we received was back in October.

With the high hopes of Patch 1.4 not panning out communication is important to let the core players know what we can expect in the future. Wherever the population of WAR is there are a diehard group of PvPers who enjoy the game and haven’t left because there really isn’t a lot of PvP competition in the MMO genre. I’m hoping they throw us a bone here soon.

The other thing that’s miffed me is the broken Realm War on the WAR website. I use that as a gauge for logging in to play. I like to see who from my guild is online and what’s going on in the zones. Without it, I’ve been blind and frankly, too lazy to login to check. LOL

I’ve heard that many North American players are rolling on European servers. Other than Badlands it seems Iron Rock, Gorfang, and Volkmar are hit or miss and we could be leading towards some sort of server consolidations. That may sound like a bad thing but for a game that is dependent upon people fighting people … you need a decent population. I would welcome this.

So hiatus is over.

August Producer’s Letter

Posted in Warhammer Online with tags , , , , , , , on September 1, 2010 by krosuss

When the last day of the month rolls around, we know we’ll be getting Carrie’s letter. This one might have been more highly anticipated than some in the past.

I’m finding the letters to be more a general summary of information we’re getting from various other sources around the web, game mag interviews, and dev Q&A’s. I agree with Bootae that a large percentage of WAR players don’t read the blogs or other online gaming resources. Their main source of news is the WAR site and especially the Herald. Maybe us bloggers need to do a bit more advertising!

For those of us keeping track, there really isn’t a lot there for us that’s new. Even so, here are some of my thoughts on what Carrie discusses.

Free-to-Play … NOT
Many people perceive the RvR Packs to be a precursor to F2P. Mythic has been pretty clear they aren’t interested in that model. I like having choices and I’m sure many players agree. If you just want to play and have fun, not caring about how your toon looks, then not having to buy the Personality Pack is a good thing. If the RvR Packs have the right amount of substance, are priced accordingly, and do add nice value to our gaming experience, I look forward to future packs. F2P can be implemented well … LOTRO … or it can be done not so well … Allods Online. I hope WAR doesn’t ever go this route.

Skaven … Again
I’ve written so much about rats since I started blogging I should just change my blog name to “Krosuss says rats”. Carrie stresses that the new Skaven RvR zone is not meant to detract from the overall Tier 4 campaign — it will be a part of it. When Land of the Dead went live, there was a noticeable dip in RvR action to where the campaign came to a halt. I have no inside knowledge, but I keep getting a feeling that this won’t be a zone like we’re accustomed. Could the “zone” really be under all existing Tier 4 zones? That would be impressive.

As far as the rats being playable, I’m still perplexed at how this will work. With no firm details other than what we’ve been given, they still sound like ‘Monster Play’. That both Order and Destruction players will have access makes them sound akin to a Third Realm of sorts. One assumes to help turn the tide during the overall campaign. I’m forced to hold judgment until we know more but I get the feeling those crying for Skaven will be left disappointed. I hope I’m wrong.

RR100!
All I can say is ugh. The renown rank bus slows to a crawl around RR 72 or so. I know because I’m working on RR76. I can barely imagine what it will be like trying to go from RR90 to RR100. Can you? All I can say is at the end of that rainbow it better be worth it. What should give players some hope is a lessening of the grind to reach RR80. It at least gives me some solace to know I can get ALTs up there without the same life drain. I agree in Carrie’s statement that to reach RR100 it should be a challenge. What good would it be if players could attain that rank in a month or two? I never played Dark Age of Camelot so I can’t comment on this RA system referenced but it sounds like it will add some flexibility, more options, and hopefully more incentives to rank up.

Closing
So overall a nice summary of things we already knew. It sounds like we’ll be getting more info the next few weeks and I’m looking forward to see what is leaked at Games Day UK. Nice to hear some of our European bloggers plan on attending.

July Producer’s Letter

Posted in Warhammer Online with tags , , on August 1, 2010 by krosuss

And so it was that the latest Producer’s Letter hit the web.

I’m not an overly jealous person … BUT SCREW YOU, EUROPE!!! Double XP and Renown — FOR 2 WEEKS! You lucky bastards. Seriously, the transition from one provider to another has had its hiccups, so it’s nice to see Mythic giving the European players a little treat to be patient. And it sounds as though not only are current players benefiting … a swarm of new and returning players are boosting populations on the European servers making for some sweet action. I was vaguely aware of this XP/Renown bonus for those playing across the pond … so Mythic knows … us on this side wouldn’t mind some of that action. Hint-hint-hint.

When Mythic didn’t attend E3 I voiced my disappointment and felt it a bad move. It seems that timing is everything as they will be attending the GamesCom convention in Germany and Games Workshop’s Games Day in Baltimore, MD in just a few weeks. Many are guessing that the timing is that Mythic will finally announce an expansion. If I were an odds maker I’d say those chances are a firm 3:1. Anything less will be a major disappointment unless it’s something really cool. Only a few weeks to wait.

We’ll be getting our first Live Event in months. The Wild Hunt makes its return and I definitely want to get me that Stag Cloak. I missed my chance last time on my main … but my “main” ALT got his. Good news that the pig chase PQ won’t be making a return. How frustrating was that thing? Another 6v6 scenario is coming, this time reusing the artwork and zone for the Eternal Citadel from the old Inevitable City King instance. Should be interesting and makes me wonder if we’ll see a return of Karl Franz’s palace for something in the future.

This letter wasn’t as chock-full-o stuff like some past letters, and much of what’s there are things we’ve been aware of for quite some time. The 1.3.6 patch is a nice one and will probably go live in a little over a week’s time (two at the latest). By then … we’ll probably be getting word on what the big announcement will be.

State Secrets

Posted in Warhammer Online with tags , on May 2, 2010 by krosuss

Besides the mention of soon being able to play both Order and Destruction on the same server (with the same account), another item stood out for me in the April Producer’s Letter. After thanking Gaarawarr, Mykiel, Shadow-war, and Werit for making the trip to Mythic for the blogger visit, this little tidbit was mentioned:

” Also keep on the lookout for a special announcement video coming straight from the bloggers to you! “

What exactly will our esteemed bloggers reveal? What top-secret info have they been keeping under wraps since their recent visit? And most importantly what MIB mind-wiping device did Mythic use to make these guys keep such secrets?

The odds of these two dwarfs and two elves giving up any secrets? Slim to none. Guess we’ll have to be patient. While we wait … if you haven’t read them yet, stop by their blogs to check out all the info they gathered during their recent visit. Lots of stuff and all worth reading!