Warhammer Online: Wayback Wednesday

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Wayback Wednesday is a series from MMORPG.com and hosted by Rob (Grakulen) that looks at older games. Rob played Warhammer when it launched and talks with the developers about what has changed over the past few years.

Grakulen is joined by Tim Chappell,  Keaven Freeman and Kevin Calvert playing Destruction in Tier 1 Dwarf, Gates of Ekrund Scenario, and Land of the Dead on the Badlands server.

As with my usual coverage I only include sections which existing players would be interested in and not the questions for new players.

For the first few minutes in this video Grakulen’s microphone is muted. You don’t miss anything real important.

[youtube_sc url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=psGJLnVNqKQ”]

When will part two of Return to Ekrund live event begin?

Was scheduled for the end of March. We had some hiccups with migrating our servers to the cloud. It is almost ready and you should be seeing it soon.

What can they reveal about Legendary Weapons?

There will be one legendary weapon per archetype. Each archetype is able to have access to 2 of the 4.  For example tanks can use the tank or melee DPS legendary weapon.

There are only one of each of these weapons on the server. The weapon will change hands quite frequently, it isn’t like one person picks it up and leaves the battlefield.

Will the de-bolster mechanic be applied elsewhere?

Queued scenarios will always be broken out by level, because its such a confined area.

Running around the open world, since we have done it in Ekrund and Mount Bloodhorn we are planning on doing it on other places yes.

Could we see a return to guilds being able to claim keeps with guilds or players upgrading parts of it?

I want to do exactly that, I just don’t know when it will happen.

I’m not trying to be evasive, but I need additional resources to bring that back.

What can be done to encourage healers to not leave groups to maximize their healing rewards?

That’s a good question, and that kind of incentive should come from the group itself and not something we force on you. We don’t want healers to feel like it isn’t worth their time to heal people outside of the group

That was an issue for quite a while.

Are there any additional ways that players can be encouraged to defend a keep?

This is a tough one and it has always been a problem in WARs history. If you incentivize defending more than attacking, than no-one wants to attack, if you incentivize attacking and not defending people won’t defend. You get keep trading and all sorts of things that can go wrong.

Right now it isn’t doing too badly, I know that we can do better. The reason I think it is at a decent spot is that players right now want to protect their keeps because of the status in the campaign. Unfortunately once they are really starting to lose the battle they just give up and wait for the city siege to happen. There is no difference right now between being on the offense and defense in a city siege.

It comes from a very difficult balance between how popular the city is currently, and what we want players to do at the keeps, how hard it is to defend at the keeps. There are a lot of factors that go into this, and this might go back to being able to claim and hold a keep. If we could bring that in could help a little bit.

One thing in particular for a keep defense  the player base is pretty much evenly split on the presence on NPC guards in the keep, half of the people love it and desperate want it, and the other half don’t want any NPCs in their RvR experience. I sympathize with both sides of the argument  What we would like to do, in the context of a keep claiming and upgrading conversation  NPCs would be a part of that. The onus would be on the guild itself to want to have the guards and pay for them themselves.

We don’t want NPC guards to replace players or be more powerful than players, but we don’t want it to be easy to walk into a guilds keep if they have paid for their defenses.

It is a very difficult discussion we will have when we get to that point where we think it will benefit.

Will we see some of the models and unfinished work from Wrath of Heroes?

That is a very complicated conversation unfortunately. The models themselves were constructed very differently for Wrath than they were for Age of Reckoning. There were some which used our  models, and there were some they built themselves. The ones they build themselves are not able to be transferred over to Warhammer except for in the capacity of Monster Play.

What goes into creating a monster play npc?

It is not a light undertaking, it takes a good deal of work.

We have to set up an actual monster in the game, and give it the abilities and armor / gear that we want it to have when players take control of it. The tricky part comes in with making sure the players hotbar switchers correctly when the player takes over the monster, and the avatar changes appropriately.

I’d say we have a success rate of 98%, unfortunately there are people get stuck with their own hotbar all greyed out. Or they will end up with their avatar on screen but with no armor. Or it will happen in the reverse.

Definitely the monster play is something very interesting, it added a additional level of gameplay for some people. Especially people who are normally lower on the totem pole. They can play as the Skaven in the RvR lakes and then they are heroic characters. In Grovod Caverns which is Skaven vs Skaven and the fights are more balanced because of the same abilities and equipment.

It is nice to have Monster Play, and we’d like to see more of them to come in absolutely.

Could we see additional mounts in the game?

I don’t have any plans sitting in front of me, but it isn’t something we would have an issue with doing.

We’d like to give more options for people, different looking mounts. Would be nice to be able to use lower mounts at max speed.

As a quality of life thing, I know that inventory space is one of those things people talk about often. For example making mounts into abilities not items, absolutely we would like to do it, it is possible, but it is not a quick or easy thing to do.

Can the streaming client be used for full accounts, or increase the download speed?

Both of those would require some significant engineering work. I’m not saying no, but I don’t have it budgeted at the moment to be able to say yes.

The streaming client itself, is pretty much hard-coded to only recognized the Empire vs Chaos Tier 1 area.

It is a barrier to entry, I completely recognize that and it is something I would remove if I could.

 

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