At loss for words

Yes, Warhammer again.

It’s like the perfect manual on how to be COMPLETELY out of touch with your game and community. Full denial of problems. Head in the sand attitude, and some of the stupidest ideas coming out of the blue.

Apparently as the first players rush onto the system and spread out across the servers, a ton of information and feedback will come flooding in via game forums, initial reviews as well as raw internal data. The temptation then is for the team to rush in and immediately start fixing things based on extremely small data sets and subjective interpretations. What the Warhammer Online team did instead was what might be referred to as “game triage.” They needed to decide which problems were truly game-threatening and focus on those and which could wait.

So they weren’t fooled. They wisely waited to address the real problems. Oh, really?

“When we look at game balance, we look at it in terms of realm vs. realm balance,” said Jeff Skalski, Warhammer Online’s RvR Strike Team Lead. “As long as we’re hitting that realm balance, we’re happy. Factional, racial or career population imbalances aren’t as critical.”

In fact, the team asserts that one of the biggest criticisms and fears around launch time — the potential for population or class imbalancehasn’t really materialized.

Yes, denial will help. As always.

The team also takes message board and player feedback very seriously and will address issues when they reach certain critical thresholds. A recent shift to healers, for example, occurred because the complaint by healers that their big healing spells were essentially useless in combat was backed up by internal data that showed how often such spells were used. As a result, many big healing spells were jazzed up to become more attractive for players.

Interesting, because the latest patch just reset the timers on those “big healing spells” to how they were previously.

Of all the problems the most crucial one the game had was one that many players doing other things missed — there weren’t enough people playing in the lower tier open realm RvR. While this had always been an anticipated problem as the player base aged and leveled up, all the data indicated that it was happening faster than it should. It was clearly something that needed to be addressed.

So they realized something wasn’t working. Now let’s see what it is:

“What we’ve found is that Scenarios tend to be their own reward,” Drescher said. “People who really want to do Open RvR, though, were falling behind PvE and scenario players in terms of gear. We needed to do something to draw people back into the ‘RvR lakes.'”

What!? Scenarios being “their own reward”? People in ORvR falling behind in terms of gear?

Do you have EVER played your own game? Scenarios weren’t their own reward. Scenarios were played because they gave HUGE boosts to experience and renown. ORvR players were falling behind in experience and renown. They are still falling behind.

In fact Scenarios didn’t provide gear in any way. If not through renown, which is again proportional to the experience.

If anything playing in ORvR will make your renown level advance FASTER than your experience level. This means that you proportionally get more gear via ORvR than what you get via Scenarios at the same level. The exact opposite of what you said.

And you are saying that in ORvR players were falling behind IN TERMS OF GEAR? And that, since you realized this, you fixed the problem by adding influence as another system to obtain gear WHILE YOU LEAVE EXPERIENCE UNTOUCHED?

Excuse me, this is nothing else than a plain display of utter incompetence. This is not a blogger with an axe to grind, this is just not having a clue about what you are doing.

Working on the Open RvR system also allowed the team to try and get ahead of another problem — the aging of the player base. The first element of this is the addition of “chicken content.” This is a series of quests that encourage higher tier player to revisit lower-tier zones (where they get turned into a chicken) in exchange for a fun series of Tome unlocks and quests that also provide interesting content for lower level characters as well. Apparently players will get experience for killing high level player-chickens and according to the team, there are as many Tome unlocks involving them as there were for fighting while naked.


Josh Drescher, a name to remember.

If you had said we’d be where we are just a few months after launch last year, we’d have called you a liar,” Drescher concluded. “We’re ecstatically happy with where we are

Good for you then. If only you could persuade me you’re convinced of what you are saying.

In fact it sounds simply pathetic.

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