Warhammer Manifesto

“Epic, heroic, pe-petuual struggle…”

Some leftover still from the E3. In this case an hilarious video interview with Paul Barnett (a “design manager”, something along the lines of a Mythic – Game Workshop coordinator) who explains what the Warhammer universe and Mythic’s game will be about.

Now I know who Paul Barnett really is.

Ramus from Lunar: Silver Star Story!

That small sound clip is an almost perfect parody of Mythic’s plan with the game. Sneaking in the cave where the WoW dragon is sleeping without waking it and get back what is legitimate of the Warhammer franchise.

“Now that the warm weather has melted the ice near the dragon’s cave, there isn’t any time to waste getting started on our big adventure! If we hurry, we may be able to sneak in without waking the dragon. Then we can get a fantasitically huge diamond from its lair worth thousands and thousands of silver, making us filthy stinking rich and very popular in the process!”

The first line is a reference to the time that has passed since WoW’s release, with Blizzard having secured their position and success with the game. Thinking they don’t need to do much else to continue to tap from that bottomless source of money, not fearing any competition. The dust settled, it’s all calm. “If we hurry” is about the correct timing of the launch for Warhammer. And the huge diamond is the symbol of hopes and dreams (popularity! money!), of something that is being stolen back and forth to the point that noone knows anymore to who it legitimately belongs. WoW stole from Warhammer setting and lore, and Warhammer is going to use WoW as a direct ispiration and open antagonist to lure back those players that WoW brought in the genre.

…Or, in other words:


Three reasons why Warhammer is a great licence for a MMO:

1- Iconic look
2- An excuse to smash the living crap out of each other
3- A-pe-pe-cciual work with no ending from where to draw from (lore, backstory etc..)

Three “devices”:

1- Zone story arcs – With the theme that defines a contested zone
2- Racial story arcs – Race vs Race
3- World story arcs – Between the races, plots, trickeries, “convoluted excuses” to fight etc..

“Everybody fights everybody, for-ever! That’s all we are interested in.”

Race cliches:

“The greenskin are soccer hooligans. All they do is wander around, pick up sticks and try to hit other people. There are no long term plans, no long term concepts. There’s a group of soccer thugs, on the march to glory.”

“The dwarfs are the northern(?) working class of England. They live down mines, all they want to do is get drunk. They just want to fight people who call them “short”. They have no money, they are very proud of their holes in the ground.”

“The high-elves are British posh people. Never done a day working in their lives. Don’t understand about “doing the washing”. Have had too much time, so they read the la-dee-dar-dee books, get really good with the swords and doing special magic.”

“The dark-elves are English posh people who have taken drugs. Basically Lord Byron. They’ve got money coming out their ears. They have taken a load of opium and have decided that they can run the goddamn world and can have it any way they want.”

“The humans. The empire is basically humans. You know, wonderful dreams, terrible nightmares. They don’t really pay attention, build huge amount of technology. They like to explode and destroy the world. Cut down all the forest, they don’t really understand it.”

“The Chaos is humans that have been totally corrupted, tentacles, crab claws, extra eyes, horns. Some people get confused and think Chaos is like the devil. No, no, no. It’s not fire and brimstone, it’s chaos. It’s custard falling from the sky. It’s an arm that turns into a sword. It’s the ability to cut open your arm and mice(?) pour out rather then blood. It’s chaos, it’s corruption.”

“It’s not a computer game. It’s a total hobby experience. We want you to buy this game, and never buy another one.”

“We want you to spend all your time playing it. We want it to involve: skill, commitment and imagination.

– The more skill you put in, the better the game is, the better you feel.
– More commitment you put in, you got piles of money, you got a great(?) of played, the more the game rewards you.
– Imagination. Over in America they call it “immersion”. It’s not immersion. Immersion is playing Half-Life and not realizng the house is burning down. And your wife’s left you. And you haven’t slept for weeks. Imagination is: I played the game and then I want to talk about it, go to the websites, draw pictures about it, have t-shirts, I wanna think about what I’m going to do when I play next week, I talk to all my friends about it.

If you get skill, commitment and imagination, you get a total hobby experience. And a hobby experience should grab you to the core of your being and be the only thing you want to do.

That’s the game we’re making.”

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