Today we kick off a brand new feature. Every couple weeks, we’ll have five questions and answers with EA Mythic that explore Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning. When possible, we’ll also bring you some exclusive media from the game. Today we kick off with answers from Community Manager Richard Duffek and two exclusive screenshots!
Answers by Richard Duffek (Community Manager, EA Mythic)
Questions by Matt Lowery
WarCry: Every company who has ever delayed a game says it is a good thing. Why did you push back Warhammer and why is it really a good thing for Warhammer and EA Mythic?
Richard Duffek: We decided to move the release date to early 2008 to invest more time in creating the best game possible. This means taking a few extra months to make sure the final product is polished and brilliant. The team has learned a lot since starting on WAR and the initial work on the Dwarf and Greenskin pairing was not as glorious as they believed it could be. So, they went back to this pairing, conducted an intense review of their work, and implemented new ideas and content. What has emerged is nothing short of spectacular. In the Dwarf and Greenskin zones there is now more war, more Warhammer, and more of what makes WAR glorious.
By extending our development time, we’ll be able to do these in-depth reviews several times prior to launch so that all areas of WAR continue to benefit from the experience of ongoing development. In the end, we’ll make a better game and players will be rewarded with a truly next generation MMORPG.
WarCry: In the March Podcast, we learned how the smaller instanced areas of RvR will weigh more towards your victory points than the larger open battles. This is the exact opposite of how we saw Realm Points in DAOC. Why the change in philosophy?
Richard Duffek: Realm points from DAoC and Victory Points in WAR are really two different systems. Realm Points were more about personal achievement and reward. They were earned during the overall war effort, but they were for personal improvement. WAR will have a system like that in place as well, called Renown Points (yeah, we have a thing for the RP acronym.) Victory points will relate more to the overall war effort. As you gain victory points you take control of the zone, which helps you push the war front towards the opponent’s Capital City.
WarCry: You have said that Chaos players will be able to change their looks over time as they mutate. The Greenskins will be able to add skulls to their look and grow. What will other races do as they mature?
Richard Duffek: The Greenskins physically grow larger as they become more powerful. Dwarfs will see their beards get longer and more ornate. The Empire’s strength will be physically illustrated by their equipment and gear. As they progress, they will gain access to bigger, meaner looking armor and equipment. As for the Elves, you’ll just have to wait and see.
The addition of skulls is a reference to our trophy system. All players will be able to equip various trophies they earn through combat and questing to give their player a unique look.
WarCry: Most MMOs are built around PvE with some sort of PvP functionality “tacked on”. WAR on the other hand is building itself around its rich and innovative PvP aspects. Can you offer any kind of assurances to players looking primarily for questing and PvE experience that this is still the game for them, and that PvE won’t feel as “tacked on” in this game as PvP is in most others?
Richard Duffek: The main problem with the tacked on PvP systems in many other games is just that, they feel tacked on. They don’t tie into the overarching storyline well at all. Players don’t feel like they have a REAL reason to go do it; other than just the act of PvPing. From the start, we have been building WAR with both PvP and PvE in mind, and for this reason, I feel we’ll definitely have the best system out there. We are truly creating one game, not two separate mini-games wrapped together under the same title.
Our PvE content is fully incorporated into the ongoing war efforts, so players feel they are helping the cause even when on a solo mission. They will also be participating in Public Quests, a real innovation to PvE that is an integral part of our game. Here players will be joining other members of their army in the completion of multi-stage, location-based quests. These really make you feel like part of a larger group, contributing to the ongoing war.
WarCry: In DAOC all Strategic points were Keeps that usually required siege weapons to take over. What form will Strategic Points take in WAR, and will siege weapons be needed to take them?
Richard Duffek: Strategic points will take many forms in WAR. From instanced scenarios to open field objective-based battles. Open field objectives will be a lot like the keeps from DAoC. By controlling them you gain some advantage, which will vary from objective to objective, for your army. These will be scattered throughout the PvP zones of the game. They come in many different varieties; from old temples to lumber mills to large prominent rocks. Instanced scenarios will be more about advancing the front lines, as stated previously. Same as with the open field objectives, they will come in many different shapes and sizes. As for siege weapons, while we can’t go into details about what types will be available in the game, some of the strategic points will indeed make use of them.
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