Yesterday we got to see the latest producer’s letter and as such, today is the day when the Internet starts picking it apart, reading too much into things, being overly critical and all the usual RAGE! HAPPY! RAGE! lark.
In an attempt not to write a monstrous wall of text and considering you’ve probably already read it after I linked yesterday, I won’t quote the whole thing, just bits I feel particularly need it. Which is really only the very first paragraph, it’s an interesting statement dripping with potential joy or disappointment, depending on your general outlook on WAR.
“Through these communications I’ve emphasized how we listen to the community and take your feedback seriously while planning the future of WAR. For the most part, the “P-Letter” (as I like to call it) is intended to be a short term look at the next version or two, giving you a look forward at the months to come. However, it’s very clear that there is a lot of desire to hear about long term planning. We hear these requests loud and clear, and it is our desire to give you a better sense of WAR’s long term plan by the end of summer. Our detractors like to make fun of us for “being really excited” and “itching to tell you about” some “really cool things” (yes, we read the snarky posts), and in this case we want to shout it from the rooftops…but not just yet.”
Some people have chosen to read this as “we acknowledge what you say, but we’re still not saying anything, so like whatever...”. I think that is more than a little harsh. I’ve been at the forefront of calling for proper and solid news for the future of WAR and it seems to me that the time is ripe to do so. However I understand that there may well be reasons, that I am unaware of, that prevent Mythic from saying anything until a certain point. Actually if you think about what's coming out over the next year from Blizard who love to shaft other MMO news releases, betas, etc (poor FF got it this week), perhaps Mythic are right to be cautious. What the above statement does do is confirm that there are major developments in the pipeline beyond the ORvR campaign improvements we’re starting to see now, certainly “shout it from the rooftops” doesn’t allude to something small and crappy.
Everyone, who isn’t being negative for the sake of it, will have read that as meaning there will be an expansion announcement made at the end of summer. Mythic must know we’ll do this and they’ve dropped clues elsewhere (“its Red, a Plague and probably a portent”, etc), so this latest comment will have been a calculated decision to tease us more. As such my no doubt unsurprising prediction is at the end of summer we will see announcement of the Red Plague expansion. Of course this leads to all manner of questions about what the expansion will be (Skaven obv, but how/what/where?) and the big question of when actually is the end of summer? That last one has a very varied answer depending on what country you live in and which form of measurement you sign up to, ranging from the beginning of August to late September… So we’re waiting a couple of months at least for the big news.
Moving on… There is mention of the EU players transferring from GOA to Mythic, no shock there and it’s not dwelled on too much, which makes sense as plenty has been said already.
As the letter starts to focus on 1.3.6 we get a few interesting bits of news. First there’s word of a dev diary on its way to explain in more detail about the new armour appearance system. Not much to say about this, other than I look forward to hearing the details. Now we start getting to the stuff that will get the speculation going. In the letter it refers to the ORvR changes coming in 1.3.6 as “the less significant portion of the work”, and it’s pretty clear that Mythic have some big changes in the pipeline for ORvR, so what pray tell are the more significant changes going to be? Larger RvR lakes? Missing Cities? Fortresses? A change to the zone locking system? Hopefully we’ll hear more soon.
Defenders of the Mailbox… Ahh bless, so you’ll have to go into the RvR lakes and risk being attacked while you’re busy AFK leeching renown. Of course I’m sure you’ll find somewhere to hide, but now we should at least be able to hunt you down and slice up your AFK buttocks.
Carrie also talks about “Against all Odds”; a new system that gives you bonus XP, renown and influence when you are outnumbered in a RvR area. Having pondered and discussed this a bit, it seems that this is one of those changes that has a lot of potential, but I’m not entirely sure how it will actually play out on live. It doesn’t encourage you to fight away from your faction’s zerg, it encourages you to fight in a different zone to your zerg. That is an important distinction. For example say Destruction outnumber Order and everyone is fighting in the Chaos Wastes, if I chose to lead my group away from the zerg and try to fight Order in different parts of the zone, then Against all Odds does nothing for my small group because we’re in the same zone as the zerg. However if lead us to a different zone, Against all Odds will still do nothing for me as it makes more sense for the outnumbered Order players to stay in Chaos Wastes and fight the zerg for increased renown, so we won’t find Order elsewhere. Therefore whilst this system does have potential and I don’t think it will really cause any harm, I’m not sure that potential will be realised until further campaign changes are made that properly require us to spread out across different zones at once (i.e. the changes I’ve been banging on about for a while!). Of course once Mythic reveal the full extent of their ORvR changes, perhaps this will work out very well.
And finally, the new options for Sovereign armour. There will be alternate versions of Sovereign armour you can trade yours in for that provide different stats and bonuses, so a DPS Shaman can have DPS Sovereign and a Healer a healing version, etc. This is a good thing. A lot people I know that have Sovereign don’t bother with it and this may change that.
All told it’s a decent letter, sure I’d like more concrete future news, but at least we know it IS coming. 1.3.6 is shaping up to be a half decent patch and I’m intrigued to see what else the Summer of WAR brings us.