As we saw in the last producer’s letter, Mythic has big news that they want to be shouting from the rooftops, but for whatever reasons they can’t and we’ve got to wait until the end of summer to hear it. So the obvious question and something there will be much speculation about, is what could it be?
WAR goes Free to play? No chance whatsoever. I will be absolutely bloody gob-smacked if it was this, shortly before I quit the game. I don’t consider this as an even vaguely realistic option for WAR; this is not some PvE grind fest where we would actually want to buy vanity items from some pony cash shop.
Expansion? My money is firmly and without doubt on this as the big news. Anything else would be lame and a let down of epic proportions, so the real question is what would an expansion bring to WAR? I think there are a few options, varying in likelihood and split into two major groupings.
It could be either a free “Live” expansion like Land of the Dead, or a full on paid expansion. We may even get both, it just depends how much and what Mythic has in the pipeline. It’s worth making some distinctions here, as there are some things that it would be a bit cheeky to add as a paid expansion and should instead come as free live expansions or in patches. I think these are the options:
The four missing cities.
A new Land of the Dead style zone.
Playable third faction.
NPC controlled third faction.
New races for the existing factions.
Lets look at these individually…
We already know this is coming. I’m expecting this to be patched in sometime over the next few months, probably as part of the 1.4 patch. As such this being the big announcement, while possible, would make no sense. We already know its coming for certain.
The four missing cities
I’ve gone blank on where, but I’m sure I saw an interview recently where Carrie was asked about the cities and she responded very briefly but with a glint in here eye, if such a thing is possible in text form… Perhaps it was just my imagination? Regardless, this for me is a no brainer and is a live expansion just waiting to happen. The gameworld was built with 6 cities in mind and work was done on them so it’s not like totally starting from scratch. Also they could easily slot into the campaign in a number of ways, could help spread people around the world more and would add major and dramatic new content. I’ve seen footage of the Dwarf city from early beta and whilst it was in a fairly basic stage visually, you can see how awesome it would have been.
A new Land of the Dead style zone
It could happen, there’s a wealth of options in the Warhammer world, but I think this shouldn’t be done yet. As the series of posts Biggsie and I are releasing demonstrates, there is so much wasted landscape already; surely it would make more sense to use that better? As a thought, the side zones like West Praag, Cinderfall, etc, perhaps they could be turned into Land of the Dead type areas? The main problem with this alone is it just wouldn’t be enough.
Playable third faction
Probably the best, yet by far the biggest and most difficult thing that Mythic could do. My head tells me this is not going to happen, I think it will be the new playable races for existing factions. Everything sensible tells me that that is what we will get. It’s just I’ve got this strange little inkling that a playable third faction is on the cards, a little nagging sensation, like my spider sense tingling. It’s probably just foolish and overly optimistic hope taunting me, but hmmm, no! No it just can’t be. Despite it’s potential awesomeness and with the right moves it being perfectly possible, it’s simply too big, too complicated and probably seen as far too risky.
NPC controlled third faction
If Skaven are introduced and they are not playable then in gaming terms this would be the biggest self-own since, well… actually quite recently, as this year people in the UK voted in the conservative party and we’re now governed by smarmy bastards who don’t give a toss if you don’t speak posh. Oh well done everyone, well bloody done, epic sodding fail on a national scale. Despite everything they said, we are getting cutbacks on pensions, care for the elderly/disabled, hospital and police and you’re surprised? Ahh but rich people are getting richer by default while David “never worked a day in his life” Cameron knocks one out over a picture of Margaret Thatcher. Oh shock horror. Learn from history for crying out loud… well I suppose you can’t, what with the libraries closing and all.
Uhm sorry non UK readers, bit of a rant tangent… I’ll stop myself getting further distracted. As you’ve probably guessed, with me being of sound mind and body, I really don’t like my new government or this PvE faction as an option for WAR. People have been asking for playable Skaven since before launch, so to introduce them as unplayable would be incredibly stupid. Undead however… that’s got some potential, but the PvE would still be a concern, WAR doesn’t need a return to the infamous RvE days.
New races for the existing factions
This is what I think will happen. Skaven for Destruction and Wood Elves for Order. Or possibly a Bretonnian/Wood Elf combination... Hmmm that could work really well you know. Questing Knight, Wardancer, Waywatcher and Damsel. Hadn’t thought of that before, interesting, not perfect lore wise, but workable. Skaven are a doddle to make, they’ve actually got so many viable options for careers that the only tough bit is deciding which not to use.
So…. Skaven join the forces of Destruction and unleash the Red Plague, which threatens everything. With their lands under threat the Bretonnians and/or Wood Elves join the war alongside the existing forces of Order. A new racial pairing is introduced that goes from Bretonnia/Loren to one of the major Skaven cities (but not Skavenblight). Underground zones and tunnel systems like in Dark Age of Camelot? Yes please!
So there you have what I think the options are and what I think will happen. What do you think? Anything I’ve not thought of?