Mark Jacobs of Mythic has responded to Blizzard's recent comments about Warhammer Online, and also revealed that two of the character classes that were cut prior to the game's release are being put back in.
Speaking to MTV Multiplayer yesterday, World of Warcraft Game Director Jeff Kaplan said that he plays Warhammer Online, but the server he plays on is unbalanced, and leveling his character is taking longer than he likes. "I'm at the point where I'm thinking about quitting because it feels like the best way to level up is in the battlegrounds," he said. "But it takes me 30 to 45 minutes to get in the battleground queue. And then when I'm not in the queue, I'm trying to do the Public Quests. But I find that I'm either griefing other people in the Public Quests to try to get influence, or that there's just nobody there." He also pointed out that the Warhammer interface "looks very familiar" to that of World of Warcraft, saying, "The WoW interface did a lot of things, and I think people would be silly not to learn lessons from it. Any savvy game developer is going to play a lot of other games and pick from the best."
Contacted for comments of his own, Jacbos told MTV that World of Warcraft also suffered from long server queues when it launched in 2004, and claimed that while Blizzard had refined the interface, much of their inspiration came from Everquest and Dark Age of Camelot.
"If you look at Warhammer, there were so many points [where] we consciously made the decision not to be like WoW and to try to push the envelope," Jacobs said. "I think you'll find that if you're actually going to compare the two products, I would say WoW is certainly a more polished game now than Warhammer is - of course they've had four years and billions of dollars - but if you look at the innovations in Warhammer, you'd be hard-pressed to find as many in WoW."
"This is not a sprint; it's a marathon," he continued. "We are in this for the long haul and the real test of how great Warhammer and WoW are will sort themselves out, and that won't be in the next three months. It's going to be a lot longer."
To that end, Jacobs also announced today that two of the classes cut from the original release version of Warhammer Online, the Black Guard and the Knight of the Blazing Sun, will be added in December. "We have very special plans around their appearance and in our next newsletter we will provide full details about that exciting and rather novel event," he wrote in a "State of the Game" message on the Warhammer Online Herald (via VE3D). "When they were cut from the game launch plans earlier this year, I said that the Black Guard and the Knight would be part of WAR only when they were great and deserved their place alongside all of WAR's other compelling classes. I also said that we would not charge any additional fees for this new content or put it in a separate expansion pack; that's not how we operate. We've kept to that plan and with the introduction of these two classes, Mythic shows that once again we are happy to keep giving players more value for their subscription dollars than any other MMORPG developer."