Monday, 12 October 2009

The WAR Expansion rumour

Is there nothing in it? Are we reading too much into it, or is this the start of another Mythic viral campaign?


Throughout WAR’s life Mythic have regularly promoted rumours through the internet to hype the game. The Choppa and Slayer teasers being absolute classics; when Bloggers were posted parcels containing orange hair dye and an electric shaver, or a DVD of Predator with a note marking the time when Arnie yells “get to da choppa!”

This one though is merely 2 brief comments on their forum.
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Fozee
“I found that in the PTS client there’s a big accidental inclusion – information on the next expansion.
Is there anyone in specific I can contact with specifics on the issue?
Nobody wants info leaked before it’s anywhere near finalization.”
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Marty (Forum Moderator)
“Guys I’m locking this as it’s not realllly something to be discussed on the forums.
Thanks!
Edited to add the info has been passed uphill to those who can check ‘er out ;)
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This essentially says nothing at all. It could have been a misunderstanding on Fozee’s part. Having not seen what he found, we don’t know. The thing that makes this interesting is the Mythic response. It’s the first time we’ve seen them not deny the existence of an expansion and you could interpret this as confirmation. You could, maybe, perhaps… Or not. Whether there is any truth in it or not, people are still latching onto this nugget of possibility.

And as such, I will now grab hold of the nugget, fondle it lovingly and explain why I hope it’s not just a rumour based on bugger all…

With the current state of WAR we are in dire need of a big announcement. Something to spark interest, something that delivers a giant slice of hope. For a long time many people have said that Mythic should be focusing on the current core game, not adding things like Land of the Dead. To their (eventual) credit, Mythic have now started to do this, but the problem is it’s too late. By the time they get the existing game balanced and performing well, the population drop we’re all now seeing may well have gone too far. Just fixing the basic game is no longer enough. WAR needs an injection of excitement, a giant dangling carrot… WAR needs an expansion announcement.

This would draw people’s attention back to WAR, get the media hype going and give Mythic an opportunity to right the wrongs in the game’s original development. Yes, WAR now NEEDS an expansion.

But not just some new zones and additional races for the existing factions, that would do nothing to address the problem that is the root of all WAR’s issues...

 Come on, you know what's coming... it's not like I haven't said it looooooooads of times before, but reviewing Aion has blasted my brain with repetition, so sorry....

WAR desperately needs a third faction announcement. It has gone beyond just people like me wanting one for our own gaming dreams, WAR needs one to stand a long term chance. Otherwise the one side dominating thing will continue to grind down player morale and people will continue to quit. Even if the game’s finer detailed balance issues like AoE, CC and all the intricacies between careers are fixed, it doesn’t matter. The one dominating and one underdog thing doesn’t work in an MMO. When it’s 1v1, there’s always a winner and loser. People will only tolerate consistently losing for so long. However, with 1v1v1, it’s entirely different. If one faction dominates for too long, then the others combine to attack it. The game self-balances, exactly how DAoC did. The people that have left the game know all this. They won’t come back just because we get given some different textures to play in, as this would mean the core problem remains. Yet I can state with abso-bloody-lute confidence that they will come back for a new dynamic 3 way campaign.

I’ve heard people say that Mythic didn’t go with 3 (or more) factions because they didn’t want to make DAoC 2. I don’t know how true that is, but regardless, it’s worth mentioning because that concept is wrong. DAoC2 is EXACTLY what WAR should have been. I honestly think that if WAR had 3 factions then it would roar back upwards in subscription numbers and become a genuine contender. Take a moment to think about what it would mean. Imagine Mythic’s marketing machine go into overdrive promoting the arrival of an unholy alliance of Skaven, Beastmen and Nurgle. Watch your backs people, there’s a beastial horde of diseased and decay scum on their way…. Awesome eh?

However I worry that if there is an expansion, we would just get Lizardmen vs Skaven as additions to the existing factions. Nice, but not enough... It’s the easy expansion, the same old same old. As I said above, we’d get new textures and models, but have all the same problems. Do you think that would bring anyone back for more than a month or two at best? If at all?

Is adding a new faction just too damn big a task? Perhaps… but when you look at what Mythic did with DAoC’s expansions you’ll see they did pretty huge changes. For example, look at the new frontiers update. It was a truly massive change. The entire (yes all of it) oRvR landscape was ripped out and replaced. Yes, this could be one of the biggest changes to an MMO ever, but Mythic could actually pull it off, they have the history and they have the experience. I seriously have faith in their ability to do it.

The question is, do they have the balls, financial backing and sense to do so?

10 comments:

  1. A new faction would probably bring back at least 70% of the people had left at least for a month. That would be significant.

    They would need to introduce new stuff for the existing factions also to keep them populated.

    It would be a HUGE patch.

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  2. They dropped money on the "New User Journey" this late in the game, I can't imagine they did it while anticipating no real spike in numbers.

    They've got something up their sleeves, or they're just burning money... I also will lovingly stroke the nugget. Bring on the third faction!

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  3. I'm with you!

    Skaven vs Lizardmen doesn't do enough ... in fact it would be adding 2 new factions bringing us to 4 instead of 3.

    The Forces of Disease would somewhat keep with lore and would be a wickedly cool faction that people would want to play.

    I'm not a fan of Skaven but running a bad-ass Beastigor with a huge two-hand axe and bellowing howl ... could be cool. Or some Nurgle Plague Wizard unleasing a swarm of flies or belch-vomiting bile all over you in close combat. The Skaven speak for themselves as I know many, many, many have clamored for them on the forums. People are dying to play one.

    I agree ... they need to announce something and as a part of that marketing blitz it's a perfect chance to inform people of just how different the game today. I don't know how many posts I read on blogs where people just don't know where the game is today and complain about things from a month or two after it launched.

    Grimnir is right ... the new user journey isn't chump change to lay out for nothing. They are doing it in anticipation of something else to draw in old players.

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  4. My contacts in Mythic tell me they have nothing to say about this. Not even a "no comment". So you can basically take that for what it's worth.

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  5. Hmmm damn them, "no comment" means so much potentially, yet so little at the same time :P

    Back to second guessing lol

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  6. Optimistic View:
    This means they are working on an expansion. They want to dictate the flow of communication and will leak info as they see fit. Already too late for a holiday release they will continue to plug away, rolling out 1.3.2 to fix CC and to add further class balance and updates.

    With some big Live Events on the horizon and some further tweeks to the classes, armour, etc. ... they will announce their expansion for release next year. Buzz ... buzz ... buzz. Folks get excited and start to hear how the game has been updated/fixed/improved and now are overly stoked at the new stuff (hopefully of which is a 3rd faction).

    Pessimistic View:
    Bogged down trying to fix what's broken, there is nothing planned for the immediate future to expand the game nor to draw in new/old players. As simple as that ... take it for what it's worth.

    Me? I'd rather lean optimistically as the pessimist in me sees dreary, drab, bad things. Things I don't want to ponder.

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  7. I hope it is the optimistic one also. It would work a little buzz would go a long way for WAR. It has what it takes now. A few more end game changes and it will be a real contender.

    That could be my optimistic side too. It is probably failing and they are about to announce it will be shut down.

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  8. What I find so far:
    1. a "Blood Hunt Expansion" in one of the zone describing txt file from wartest.myp.

    2. a mention of "bloodhunt.myp" in WarTest.exe.

    That's it. It doesn't mean much, really. It can be something left from the past (like how WL was called Seer, WEs called Assassin in some of the lua files), or the foundation of something called "bloodhunt" which may be a real expansion, or just a live event - it is not unreasonable to think the devs would use a separate myp file when testing content, and the PTS client is essentially a cleaned up developer's client.

    Though if it's as people guess, the expansion's focus being on vampires, it would be mighty interesting, because unlike Tomb Kings, Vampire counts can create new undead, you can see it in one of the dwarf PQs (Neborhest's Tower, in Marsh of Madness) that vampires can turn many races into undead.
    If they really want to do an faction expansion on vampires, they can simply allow order and destruction players to become vampires or other forms of undead. I guess it can be kind of like how you become death knights in WoW.
    They can also make it a NPC faction, from what I understand Vampire Counts are essentially tons of fodder + a few top heroes.

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  9. In my opinion an expansion based on vampires would not work with the lore since Vamps are suppose to be extreamly rare and powerful, while the minions are mostly just a gazillion mindless easy to kill zombies/skellies.

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