Joshua Drescher, Adam Gershowitz and James Nichols of EA Mythic team up to answer the latest set of questions on Warhammer Online: age of Reckoning. Population balance, respecs and other topics get their attention in this twice-a-month series.
Answers by Joshua Drescher, Adam Gershowitz & James Nichols (EA Mythic)
Questions by Matt Lowery
WarCry: Since you will always have more of each than you can use at any given time, have any decisions been made regarding respecs of tactics and morale abilities?
EA Mythic: Players will be able to re-spec their Mastery, which means they will be able to re-spec any of the tactics & morale abilities purchased in that system.
Core tactics and morale abilities, along with those received from the Tome, are automatically granted via unlocks (gain a level, gain an ability). As a result, the major player choice is whether or not to slot them, not which tactics or morale abilities to purchase.
Keep in mind the new Mastery system replaces the old point system for buying tactics & morale. We didn’t get remove the choice; we just moved it to another location.
WarCry: As a company, you know first hand the challenges of population balance in a game with multiple factions. What have you done to make sure the playing field remains even in WAR?
EA Mythic: We have a number of things in the hopper for dealing with this, ranging from Community-related initiatives to RvR-related items. This is definitely something we think about on a daily basis.
WarCry: With the announcement of Mounts in game, will they do anything other than fast travel?
EA Mythic: Mounts are primarily a form of travel in the game, as well as a visual status symbol of player achievement. There are no other major game play features beyond travel intended for mounts at the launch of WAR.
WarCry: What tools will be available to help guilds manage their teams?
EA Mythic: We have an extremely robust set of Guild tools that will allow leaders and officers to efficiently manage and coordinate their members. These tools include a Calendar system, news feed, and an in-depth roster feature. These, plus the addition of the living guild system (your guild actually gains levels and benefits), make guilds an integral and rewarding part of the game.
WarCry: With the three branches of mastery in game, could you describe how that works? IE Will a caster choose between Fire, Ice, and Earth magic, or are they radically different?
EA Mythic: The Mastery system is not intended to focus on things such as resistance types. We try to keep resistances evenly mixed throughout most of the lines in order to give casters alternative spells to use in situations where they face an opponent with high resists against their primary magic type.
Mastery is more of a way to further define your role. For example, a Sorceress’ or Bright Wizard’s role is to unleash the pain via magic from a distance. Therefore their mastery paths allow a player to drill down on how they want to do this. For example, they may have lines that represent the following:
- Direct Damage – Focuses on really high, single-target damage
- DoT/Debuffs – Focuses on dealing damage over time & reducing enemies resistance to attack
- Area Effect – Focuses on dealing lower damage over a larger area & number of enemies
Each of these choices offers the player a different type of game play specialization without changing their role as a primary nuker. Most of the Mastery lines fall in line with this general concept, although the exact functionality varies on a class by class basis.