July 11, 2008

Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning - Told You So!

Sad news, Mythic has announced that Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning will only feature two capital cities at launch, cut back from the original plan of six.
MMORPG.com has learned that a decision has been made to reduce the number of Capital Cities at launch from six down to two. Altdorf (Empire) and Inevitable City (Chaos) will stand at launch as the Capitals not only of their race, but of their faction as well.

“A number of months ago,” Jacobs began, “we sat down and looked at where we were with our Capital Cities and we looked at what we were doing with Altdorf and Inevitable, we looked at the Greenskin home, the Dwarf home and we went ‘there’s an awful lot to do here and there are some issues‘.”
This will allow the development team to focus on making the two included cities the best they can possibly be. Which is a good thing if you've been following Mythic's immense plans for how cities will operate.
Capital cities are more than just “a place for people to hang out, buy stuff and run around making Chuck Norris jokes,” says Jacobs. He went on to talk about the detailed nature of these cities and how, no matter how good you or your team is, you’re not going to get it 100% correct on your first time around. Starting with two cities will allow the team to learn from their mistakes so that when the other four are incorporated, they will be better and the devs won’t have made the same mistakes six times over.
Secondly, some classes have been cut from the game.
“Four of the classes that we’ve been working on, we just couldn’t get great,” he continued. “We looked at them and we said these careers are just not great… and we tried, and they weren’t coming out well.”

This left them with a decision similar to the one that they were left with for the cities, do they continue and try to get it, or do they shelve them? In the end, after looking at the metric data that they have been collecting throughout the beta process, they saw that there were four careers that just weren’t working for the players.

“We tried,” Jacobs said, “we tried to see if we could make them better and we just couldn’t make them great. So we had a choice. Do we put in some non-great careers just because they are iconic, or we cut them out and put them in post-launch if we can get them right, or do we not put them in at all?”

Classes Cut:

Choppa (Greenskin)
Hammerer (Dwarf)
Blackguard (Dark Elf)
Knight of the Blazing Sun (Empire)
I for one am not surprised. I knew for a long time that the brick wall of information being let out officially was due to something large not being finished and heading towards the chopping block.

I just want to say: told you so.

Anyways, I am still a WAR fanboy. It pains me to say, but the game is in beta, and that always means news like this is around the corner. Amazing what happens when developers stick to their guns, because most developers *cough* Funcom *cough* would just launch with half-assed items that didn't work.

Bravo Mythic for dealing with these issues now instead of after launch!

29 comments:

Jack Barrier said...

Just another example of why I won't touch WAR until it has been out for 6+ months. I learned my lesson with AOC and will NOT give another penny to these half assed attempts. Console gaming FTW.

Notherenow1 said...

AGGHHH

City Nerf!
Class NERF!

And it is not even out yet.

According to Keen this game was ready to go now was his impression.
Wonder how he will feel that the features are starting to hit the floor, movie reel style.

heartlessgamer said...

What? Why would that make you not want to touch it for 6+ months?

Mythic has the balls to say "Hey, we're going to focus on what is working and cut what is not."

How is that a sign the game is not going to be solid at launch? To me, it is a sign that we have a developer who understands the need for a complete and solid game at launch. Complete does not equal every single quote about the game that has left the development teams lips.

Its not half-assed, it is less than originally planned. Half-assed is launching with incomplete features. Do you know how great a game Pirates of the Burning Seas could of been had Flying Lab focused on what actually worked in their game? How great AoC could be right now if Funcom had focused on what worked?

We have more examples of half-assed attempts than I care to document. We have ONE case, Blizzard developing WoW, of a developer willing to CUT features that simply weren't working out. Thats a pretty good indication for me of what is truly going on with WAR.

heartlessgamer said...

And OpenEdge, if the game is ready as many beta testers have leaked, then it only makes sense that it will be BETTER now that resources are focused.

These cities and classes have LONG BEEN MIA, so no one can claim to be let down by something they knew little about to begin with.

Hudson said...

When will companies learn all you have to DO IS BE PATIENT AND YOU CAN BEAT BLIZZARD

Its moves like that that have Blizzard rocking back in their chairs and chuckling.

FINISH THE GAME, FUCK THE RELEASE DATE!

heartlessgamer said...

Hudson, I think you make the wrong assumption. WAR could delay forever, or make decisions to actually get the game out the door. If there is enough in the game to launch, why delay to get more?

BTW Hudson, check your e-mail.

Do we need another Duke Nukem Forever?

ardwulfslair said...

One could make the same argument about AoC, which certainly had enough in the game to launch. It was what's happening after launch that's really discouraging about AoC.

This sounds like almost comically bad news to me. Chopping the classes (of which it sounds like there's enough variety anyway,) bothers me less than chopping four capitals, which impies that 4/6ths of the world will also end up not in the game. WAR will be crippleware at launch. Hooray.

SANE said...

Have to agree, very dis-heartening news. I don't know what else to say other than I'm supremely disappointed.

Ethic said...

I actually have no problem with this. Don't put it in unless it is ready to go.

Ethic said...

I actually have no problem with this. Don't put it in unless it is ready to go.

Jack Barrier said...

What I consider to be halfassed is the decision to cut the cities. Classes being cut makes perfect sense to me, but like ard, I see cutting cities as cutting the game and a complete waste of resouces. It tells me that WAR devs couldn't get it right the first time, but they want me to stick around to see if they can fix the capital cities 6+ months down the road.

Will WAR have a great launch? I'm 90% sure it will, but endgame will tell the tale. If the game is awesome, I will read about how great it is from heartless gamers like yourself, and that could sway my opinion towards purchasing the box and running with it. If it sucks, we will all know about 1 month after launch when all the hardcore players are experiencing problems. Time will tell.

heartlessgamer said...

Also, to those comparing this to the number of "capital cities" in WoW: how many of them get used?

Oh, thats right, Iron Forge and Orgrimmar! Plus, not until TBC launched did a third, Shattrath, become a heavy traffic city. The other cities added with TBC get used by level 20 passer-bys only. I guess Blizzard never finished their game!

I'll probably spend some time and make a comparison of WoW vs WAR cities just to show the shallowness of basing arguments off of number of cities instead of content of cities.

Notherenow1 said...

@wolfgangdoom

I agree with you. It may be all well and good to cut classes, but a cut to 80% of cities seems odd.
Why offer so many in the first place? Lore?
What will be truly telling as everyone says is end game.

If I have to grind 500 Greenskins for some type of badge of honor...
Well, I guess I have played that game before..uh...wait...
That sentence sounds familiar?

Hudson said...

Got your email, cleared that up thanks.

Wrote back also

ardwulfslair said...

The implication is that adventuring zones attached or adjacent to those axed cities will be cut as well, and if they're cutting the cities, I don't see any reason to assume this is not the case. Maybe it's not, but until someone from Mythic comes along and says that all the areas intended those areas intended to support the axed cities are still going live at launch (which seems unlikely to me,) I'm going to assume that something like four-sixths of the game world just went away.

The active cities in WoW argument is kind of bogus, if for no other reason than the fact that capitals in WAR are supposed to be much more important than they are in WoW. If Thunder Bluff were to diappear in the next patch, people would whine, but it wouldn't have much impact on gameplay. In WAR it will; each faction will have only one city to defend, not three, and attackers will therefore be at a disadvantage.

I confess that I don't see the class cuts as especially important, though. Eighteen classes is more than enough.

heartlessgamer said...

ardwulf, I guarantee you the "zones around the cities" have not been cut. That isn't NDA breaking, because I'm not even in beta and last I checked, the leaks aren't that informative.

We've seen the tier three and four zones for almost every pairing at trade shows and press events.

The stuff that was cut has NEVER been seen and was likely NEVER in production. It was simply words on a design document that didn't fit and were stopped in the collective development womb.

ardwulfslair said...

I find it extremely hard to believe that no production work has been done on four of the chopped cities, although you may well be right about the T3 and up areas - let's hope you are. That doesn't alleviate the RvR problems that this will create.

ardwulfslair said...

Evidently the Dwarf city was pretty far along and the High Elf city had at least some of the modeling complete, but the Dark Elf and Orc cities had barely anything done on them.

Also, I'm now hearing that the cities are actually adjacent to the T4 zones, not the T1 zones, which alleviates my fears of 2/3rds of the content getting the axe. And apparently there is some kind of RvR campaign goal restructuring going on as well, although I don't have the details on that right now. This move blowing the RvR up remains, I think, a legitmate concern at this point, but I think there's less cause for alarm than I'd thought. One thing I AM hearing is that the WAR cities are much, much more awesome than the lame vendor hubs of WoW.

alextaldren said...

And so it begins...

alextaldren said...

And so it begins...

Hudson said...

Oh god Tobold is on it now

http://tobolds.blogspot.com/2008/07/ea-mythic-finds-third-way.html

So much for having a "ANTI BARTLE" kind of week

heartlessgamer said...

Sigh, so many predictable reaction posts flying about. This folks, is the true WoW effect. Blizzard yanked a ton of features from WoW prior to launch, and it turned out pretty damn good for them. However, the perceived perfection that is now WoW, will dictate perfection from all MMOs to come.

Keen said...

@Openedge1: Uh, where did I ever say the game was ready to go? I am not even in the beta nor do I have any insider information on the development process. I've actually been saying I would rather see a delay and Mythic stick to their guns of delivering a complete game than have it release like the steaming pile of AoC that was pushed out.

Keen said...

@Openedge1: Uh, where did I ever say the game was ready to go? I am not even in the beta nor do I have any insider information on the development process. I've actually been saying I would rather see a delay and Mythic stick to their guns of delivering a complete game than have it release like the steaming pile of AoC that was pushed out.

Notherenow1 said...

@keen

With statements like

"I speak highly of WAR based on what I’ve seen in hands-on demos and officially released information. I’ve been a fan of Mythic’s development for many years."

"Paul Barnett and Jeff “The” Hickman were on G4’s X-Play today showing off Warhammer Online. Nothing new was mentioned but the gameplay footage looked very polished."

All give impressions that you feel the game is a go, and will be good.

But, I also know as of late the news has made you start to give a little on this, unlike other fans I know.

I guess we will all have to wait and see now...

Lastdragon said...

It all comes down to content I believe. Characters meh! Cities meh!

You need to have a lot to do with what you have. One of the things that WoW did was open up MMO's for a audience much larger than has been there before.

So like it or not. WAR will be under heavy scrutinty. The content will be a big deal since now many folks are pro's a leveling, exploiting, and progressing more than ever. If new customers play this game out too fast, it will be forgotten.

While WoW has had its ups and downs, it was basicly the only store on the block so it could aford to make errors or not have things perfect. WoW has dealt with this audience and has a good idea how to deal with it. I am curious how the WAR crew will staff and deal with the issues that will come up. Only time will tell.

I recommend that WAR work hard on getting new content out as fast as possible, and if they got the resources to do it, bring out the said classes and cities for free. That will be a nice change.

Viddles said...

If you are not in beta/open beta I am not sure how you can speak to any of WAR's qualities. You must actually play the game, for longer than an hour.

The game is alright at best. I will not be playing it at release, just as the first poster said. WAR is going the way of Vanguard ... total failure. Except, I think Vanguard was actually much better than this game, sadly.

None of the classes are really that amazing, or interesting to play. You quest all the time, just like any other MMO. Add to that the fact they just cut out 2/3 of the cities and 4 classes! Wow, that is like what, 50% of the content probably.

It is pathetic at best. And to think I got reported on sites like WHA for ripping Mythic in posts, about their ineptness, lies and failures. And then look what happens. I freaking knew it all along.

Go ahead, follow your fanboism to the release of this game. The Public Quest system and PvP are pretty interesting and well done, but beyond that, it is the same old crap rehashed into a new world.

Also, the game doesn't fell like Warhammer. It isn't nearly dark enough or nearly grusome enough. Being a huge Warhammer tabletop fan, I think they completely blew it as far as portraying many of these classes and races correctly.

Do what you want, but I am staying away for at least 6 months. And also think about what kind of DRM/Spybot/Ads/Cheating protection will be in this game since EA has a hold of it. Hello Mass Effect/Battlefield 2142/Spore nightmare all over again. I will be surprised if this games makes it a year or 2 with EA behind it.

Viddles said...

If you are not in beta/open beta I am not sure how you can speak to any of WAR's qualities. You must actually play the game, for longer than an hour.

The game is alright at best. I will not be playing it at release, just as the first poster said. WAR is going the way of Vanguard ... total failure. Except, I think Vanguard was actually much better than this game, sadly.

None of the classes are really that amazing, or interesting to play. You quest all the time, just like any other MMO. Add to that the fact they just cut out 2/3 of the cities and 4 classes! Wow, that is like what, 50% of the content probably.

It is pathetic at best. And to think I got reported on sites like WHA for ripping Mythic in posts, about their ineptness, lies and failures. And then look what happens. I freaking knew it all along.

Go ahead, follow your fanboism to the release of this game. The Public Quest system and PvP are pretty interesting and well done, but beyond that, it is the same old crap rehashed into a new world.

Also, the game doesn't fell like Warhammer. It isn't nearly dark enough or nearly grusome enough. Being a huge Warhammer tabletop fan, I think they completely blew it as far as portraying many of these classes and races correctly.

Do what you want, but I am staying away for at least 6 months. And also think about what kind of DRM/Spybot/Ads/Cheating protection will be in this game since EA has a hold of it. Hello Mass Effect/Battlefield 2142/Spore nightmare all over again. I will be surprised if this games makes it a year or 2 with EA behind it.

heartlessgamer said...

Viddles you are entitled to your opinion, but most people will simply laugh at you if you try to compare WAR to Vanguard at launch.

The city/class changes were frustrating, but may ultimately prove to have been the best choice for the game.

Its quite funny how you point out that the PvP and Public Quests are well done, considering they make up MOST of what open-minded players will be doing in game. Players that come with a WoW-mindset will grab quests and quest away, no matter how many times the game tries to direct them off that path to socialize and have fun with others.