I could tell you all about the many, many hilarious and at times totally bizarre events that happened, but there’s just too much mentalness to type. Let’s just say it featured a copious amount of beer, a real life pirate, about 100 extremely drunk and glammed up women from a Hairdressers convention and a very rude south African lady. Oh and I got lost for an hour at 3am trying to find my hotel and almost decided to sleep alongside a motorway, thankfully that worked out ok though and I did find the hotel...
Anyways, thanks to an epic hang over and delayed trains, it’s taken ages to get back home and meant I missed breaking the main news of the day. I won't repost what has already been covered very well on both Bruglir’s blog and WAR Aura, be sure to check out the news AND then come back here for further goodies... However we also found out a lot of little bits and had many interesting debates through the night, so there maybe some more things I post about as my brain gradually recovers.
I did however get an interview with Andy. Questions were obviously all focused on the new changes and the future of WAR.
Bootae- First thing I was wondering about, you know you talked about the resource gathering from the BOs, is that going to be the current ones so you’d have multiple resource gathers moving around at once?
Andy- It’s gonna be all the current BOs, so there will be four resource nodes open at any point and they will be capturable at any point in time. So you’ll have to actively defend them all, if you want to hold them all then you’ve got to spread out and defend them.
Bootae- And defend the resource gathers themselves?
Bootae- So you’ll have multiple groups of people all over the zone guarding or attacking different things.
Andy- Yup. Because even if the resource runner is moving, the resource node can still be captured. So you’ll need to protect the resource node, the runner and probably your warcamp as well.
Bootae- You mentioned the resource runners being upgradeable. Does that reset if their node is lost?
Andy- No, that’s based on what rank your keep is.
Bootae- So now we’ll never again have a situation where you’re attacking both keeps, because we’ll always start off owning one and have to capture the other, while managing and controlling everything else in the zone.
Bootae- The campaign itself then, this continues with the one zone open in each pairing, that locks, moves onto next zone, etc? We won’t have multiple zones open per pairing?
Andy- That remains the same. We had considered changing that, considering revamping how that works actually, but we decided it would be too radical a departure from the way things currently work and that it may actually having a negative effect on the game for people that were comfortable with the way the campaign progresses, but not happy with the zone locks. So we thought we’d change how zone locking works first, see how successful it is, see how it goes over with the players and then if we need to continue with adjusting the campaign mechanism we’ll go from there. But it’s part our approach incremental changes, it’s how we approach our development. We change things incrementally one step at a time.
Bootae- Regarding the Fortresses and the revamped campaign, is there a planned way they’re coming back into the new system or is it still very much up in the air?
Andy- We have it in our mind yeah, but we’re not set in stone or prepared to talk about their implementation just yet. It’s definitely one of those things on the forefront of what we want to do, the reintroduction of fortresses, however it’s not something we doing right now. That’s not to say the next patch set afterwards wouldn’t reintroduce them. Is that possible? It’s possible if we have all these changes go according to plan, everything works out brilliantly then if something falls into place with the fortresses that allows us to reintroduce them in a way that we think will be fun and dynamic then yes, we’ll move forward on that. So while it continues to be a priority right now, no we don’t have any definite plans.
Bootae- The next bit then for the campaign, the new Skaven zone… How does that fit in? The general idea in the community is about a tunnel system linking up all the zones, is that anywhere near the truth or is it more like a Land of the Dead entry?
Andy- You’ll find out this month.
Bootae- Moving on to Skaven, are Skaven something you can log in and play whenever you want or is there like a gated access of some form?
Andy- It is gated and it ties into the new Skaven area. How exactly it ties into the new area we’re not discussing right now.
Bootae- So will you be able to have both factions playing Skaven at the same time?
Bootae- The four classes mentioned today, are there more to be revealed?
Andy- No, that is it.
Bootae- So no Stormvermin or things like that. It seems like the Skaven are being very much built around being a component of the new siege system.
Andy- The Skaven are there to enhance the ORvR experience. To make ORvR more fun and more compelling.
Bootae- So it’s not a third faction as such as we were thinking before, its more enhancement for the existing factions?
Andy- That’s correct.
Bootae- So Order players can have Skaven fighting alongside them?
Andy- Don’t worry, we got approval from GW (Gamesworkshop) on that.
Bootae- Hah, yeah you know people are gonna go for you on that.
Andy- Well the thing is if you read the Gotrek and Felix novels then there’s actually a point where the Skaven work with Empire. Even though the most recent edition of the Warhammer playbook has grouped them with Destruction, they really are very mercenary.
Bootae- They’re out for themselves.
Andy- Yeah, they’re out for themselves yeah. As long as you have enough warpstone to satisfy their craving, they’ll do whatever they can to get that warpstone. Including stabbing you in the back.
Bootae- So the RvR packs are one thing, but it sounds like from all this that it’s really 1.4 that needs to be in place to enable all of this.
Andy- Right now 1.4 is a component of the RvR packs, I would say that.
Bootae- You’ve talked before about how we’ll be getting these packs more often than a game would usually get full on expansions. So in future are we always going to see a major 1.4 style patch accompanied by a pack? So there will be the free patch and then the extra purchaseable components like the packs alongside that?
Andy- We’re not gonna stop free updates to the game, that’s not gonna stop. There’s always gonna be free updates to the game, we’re always going to be improving content, we’re always going to be making things better and some of that just happens to coincide with the RvR Pack. So yes there will always continue to be free improvements for players, regardless of if they purchase the RvR pack.
Bootae- So this current timing of pack and patch is just a timing thing.
Andy- Yeah, it’s kinda the logistics of the development schedule.
Bootae- PvE pack? Now I don’t give two monkeys about PvE really…
Andy- Neither do we.
Bootae- …but some people will do. So is the future of PvE pretty much out of the window?
Andy- The immediate future. You know, we’ve embraced the fact that we are an RvR game. Some people say it’s niche, some people say its you know, it is what it is, but people play Bioware Mythic games because they like to kill other players. That’s what we’re good at, that’s what we do. We are dedicated to making our RvR experience the best it can be.
Bootae- So thoughts of dungeons and lairs gone?
Andy- No, no, no. There’s actually a lot of lairs that are attached to the RvR lakes. Like the one in Chaos Wastes near the north keep. It’s kinda hard to get there, it’s like a jumping puzzle to get up.
Bootae- Ah yeah like the one in Norsca.
Andy- Personally I would love to see some of the lairs and stuff repurposed into RvR fights, I think that would be very cool.
Bootae- Like the invadeable Land of the Dead style?
Bootae- We were talking earlier about a PQ in tier 1 Orc/Dwarf, where for whatever reason it’s RvR enabled. That’s probably the best PQ in the entire game, but then it doesn’t happen anymore.
Andy- We should have done more of those. We should have continued to build upon the PvP foundation interspersed with the PvE. Unfortunately that one PQ is one of the only places in the game where that happens with a PQ, up until the city revamp of course. So you know, it’s lessons learnt, no development team gets everything right, no development team is perfect. And I know a lot of people like to point at warhammer online and bash warhammer online, it’s the cool fashion. But you know, we’re still here, we’re still going, we’re still developing and delivering a visceral, heart-pounding experience for our players. And you know, our community is right now in a better place than its been in the last 2 years. The players, while they’re critical and while they still let us know what they think, they really do love the game and you can see it, you can see the passion.
People sometimes like to attach the word failure to our game, but you know we are not a failure, we are profitable, we are making money for the studio, we are still developing new content and we’re doing something that a lot of games are afraid to do, you know we’re saying yeah we made a lot of mistakes when we first launched the game and we’re gonna take 12 months, 16 months, we’re gonna take however long it takes to go back and fix these things.
My recording went a bit dodgy from here and I’ve got a horrible hangover clouding my memory, but I asked a cheeky question about sub numbers and while Andy wouldn’t divulge the numbers, he did confirm that subscription numbers are increasing. We also talked about the amount of people in one zone and Andy mentioned recently Badlands saw over 700 people in one zone, 500 of them attacking a keep. I also learnt a few things that I've been asked not to blog about, but lets just say I'm very positive about the next few months and the future of WAR.
And that was that for the interview, Andy had to head off to do yet another presentation to the masses and I went and joined the mass debate amongst WAR players about all the announcements. I'll post thoughts and stuff over the next few days.
So thanks to Andy for his time, the beers, chicken wings and a bloody comedy gold night.