A quite original turn of events

Instead of Mark Jacobs turning his back to F13, as in my 2006 omen, it’s F13 turning its back to Mark Jacobs. (P.S. Proper thread here or, well, any forum of your choice)

Or so it appears to be?

EDIT1: The reason of the outrage seems to be the latest Grab Bag (that I completely missed, note to Mythic: show more than three news on that Herald page), where they explain/reveal what appears to be a PvE cockblock to RvR content.

Players on various forums are already taking this as the sign of what are Mythic’s real priorities. Confirming my doubts about not “reading” their own game correctly, being on the wrong path and announcing new content while the core of the game is broken and unaddressed.

At the same time I’ve read players in Tier 4 reporting that the factions are avoiding each other in order to farm Keep Lords and have a chance at very rare drops. If Mythic executes their plan of rewarding more and more the objectives and not the fight, this problem will worsen considerably and we are looking at a future patch that will break the game even more than how it is now. That’s the next step.

On the other side Mythic is going to offer next week sever transfer from low populated servers to medium populated ones. One wonders: what is going to happen to those low populated servers that will see even less activity? Are unaware players who decide to start there be welcomed by a warning pop-up? Or will the servers be left there, agonizing, like relics testifying Mythic’s wrong expectations and plans?

For how much Mark Jacobs surely hopes things stabilize and calm down for the game, they are instead in a flow now more than ever. I see this as a very good thing for the game. Mythic isn’t allowed to downplay what is going on. Either something changes *radically* in the perception and attitude, or they’ll have to face the consequences.

The fact that Warhammer is here to stay in the longer term as a relevant competitor will be determined NOW. And has to be renewed every day, till the game wades out this impasse.

(I wonder, am I the cynic or the hopeless optimist?)

EDIT2: There’s also this nice gem. But then it’s stuff I already knew.

EDIT3: About the previous link I want to specify what is the “stuff I already knew” so that it’s not misunderstood.

From my point of view all that is written there is unconfirmed, but plausible. There’s nothing surprising, nor anything that I consider so important.

GOLD FARMERS – This is the part that was somewhat already known. You are a FOOL if you thought gold farmers were spending $50 for a copy of the game just so they could spam some links and get banned. I don’t have the time to go find the link on the Vault, but I remember Mark Jacobs himself voicing the suspect that these spammers were generating CD-Keys, so basically having unlimited access to new accounts and without risking anything.

IP BANNING – Oh, I’m sure they can ban an IP if they want. Problem that it’s not this simple. If the spammers are using public and dynamic IPs then you can’t block them without blocking the whole provider. So it’s not as easy as it appears to be. Mythic has no way to identify a particular someone since a valid credit card is not required to make an account. And if they make the credit card required then they’ll surely upset a larger group of players. Pretty much as accepting the EULA every time is annoying for all of us.

So for as much I believe that Mark’s crusade against gold spammers was “felt”, it likely had no effect in practice and was just propaganda. This should be no surprise.

MYTHIC FIRING PEOPLE OR MAKING NEW GAME – Well, here there’s nothing that can be taken as sure truth, but it was known that Mythic borrowed a number of devs directly from EA whenever they needed them. It’s likely that with the game’s launch these guys returned to EA. It’s possible that they are reducing their CSR if they overestimated their subs count (likely, even if that post came BEFORE Mythic could see their subs numbers). It’s also very plausible that a number of devs are being moved between projects. Despite Mark Jacobs himself said that all the team was currently focused on the live game and “not yet” working on a expansion, some other guy in the team (I think the producer) confirmed that they had already a small team that was playing with concepts to use in a expansion. A new game? Sure. Mark never denied that he still wants to do “romans in space”. I seriously doubt that they’re doing anything concrete right now, but they said more than once that Warhammer wasn’t going to be their last game. Mark Jacobs himself again, expressed more than once the desire to move off Warhammer shortly after launch. It doesn’t mean that the team will be affected, but it is likely that after the launch the resources poured on the game will be only proportional to what the game can afford, cutting the costs as much as possible. If you are a cynic you could interpret this as the only way you can run a commercial company.

It’s a fact that they want (and expect) the game to stabilize and live on its own. Jeff Hickman said their target is to make one patch every three to six months. That’s what they expect the game will need, and it can surely be done (and it is the case of pretty much every MMO outside Eve-Online and WoW) with a smaller team compared to the one that worked in the game till now.

CLIENT STUTTERING – I didn’t test in the last week, but none of the patches did anything to remove or reduce the stuttering. Or at least nothing I could perceive. This isn’t anything new from Mythic since they are using a licensed engine and the engineering side of the job has NEVER been something where they excelled. They do content, systems, but the hard engine is not done by them and has always been shit. There’s not much you can done here beside allocating more resources. Clearly most of the work goes in other parts of the game where they feel more competent. It’s easier to say “we are always working to improve performance” even if no progress is concretely being made.

BOTTING AND SCENARIOS – He was a CSR and what he says seems plausible. All those problems are, imho, almost irrelevant. If they are relevant they are also easily fixed. Customer Support won’t make or break a game, when it comes into play it means things already aren’t working smoothly. Those issues are for the great majority of players IRRELEVANT, so I don’t give them any weight. Maybe CSRs don’t have great tools to do their job, but making better tools for them isn’t a priority. There’s no urgency and, in case, those tools will be improved.

So, again, that post is plausible for the most part, and a bit of a stretch in some other. I pasted it just to hear “another” perspective, but, true or not, it’s not so noteworthy. If not in that typical MMO drama that fuels the pages of blogs and message boards.

We luv drama.

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