Friday, November 7, 2008

Warhammer Online - Props or Not?

The greenskin has posted a about a post (say that 3 times really fast) made by Mark Jacobs in regards to playing the game...

Over the last week or so I have been playing the game continually focusing on RvR from a solo player’s (though I have joined a guild for one of my toons) perspective. I’ll talk about some of the changes/additions that have come from that experience in the coming weeks. The first result of that is a 7 page document that I’ve delivered to the team and I’m working on a second document that might be even longer. Changes from the first document are already going into the game and more will be added over the next month or so. Some other changes/additions will take longer (but done in stages) but there is no bigger proponent of open RvR than me (obviously) and I think our oRvR-focused players will really, really like where we are going to end up.

- Mark Jacobs

Greenskin had this to say...

I can’t wait to hear what he has to say and I hope he brings a range of fixes from both the solo and group side of this game.

Does it really deserve kudos? Cesspit had this to say...There is no team...there is Mark Jacobs

"Holy cow!

He's written seven pages to explain his dev team the problems of open RvR.
Seven f***ing pages. And here I thought I was logorrheic.

He's explaining his team the problems of open RvR, a game whose major feature is RvR, a game that was just released and whose design is only examined now.

What the f*** have you done in the last 2+ years?"

Hmmm. Who is right here? Is it great that Mark is playing NOW, and fixing issues NOW?



Brooke said...

Better late than never!? :P

Openedge1 said...

Yea. I think NEVER belongs to Funcom.

They probably still do not play it based on the reports of their player

But, Mark sure is kind of strange in how he approaches things. Is there not another mouth piece at Mythic, because Mark's foot has to be all but gone from being chewed on in his mouth.

Bildo said...

Well really, though I know you like to hate on WAR, there's more here than meets the eye.

The biggest mistake WAR made, was the double-edged sword that was their beta process.

It worked from a technical point of view. All their systems were in place on day one and working.

But because of the segmented nature of the beta tests (test one tier, one zone a few days, then wipe, and repeat for a different zone), the full game from Rank 1 to 40 wasn't tested the way WoW was, or most other MMOGs.

So while the game's feature-list is in and working, problems arose from having everyone playing in a stable, no-wipe environment that Mark and the entire staff didn't see coming. Namely, that people would flock to scenarios due to their ease of use and rewards given in short amounts of time. Cross-pairing queues only added to this.

So when Mark says he's written a 7-page article on his experiences in RvR as a solo player, I DO see it as a good thing. I'd rather have the makers of the game viewing the game from all angles to try and make sure it works on all fronts than to blissfully ignore problems like Blizzard did for so long.

But then again, I'm biased. WAR, to me, is the best MMOG in years. In a short time, it's improved markedly since launch, and I only see it getting better from where I stand. Because Mythic's listening, and reacting when appropriate... and doing so in record time.

adingworld said...

I have no clue to the extent the RvR has problems in the game. But if they have serious issues then one thing Mythic should examine is what caused their own playtesting and betatesting to miss these issues before release?

There will always be things that will only pop up at release which perhaps was not clear or obvious before, so I would not expect them to have a perfect design right from the start.

For a subscription-based game I would expect the game company to look at and fix issues in the game, be it bugs or design problems. It is good that they do their job, but I would not consider that anything exceptional.

Bildo said...

@Adingworld: I have a feeling we were typing at the same time. See my earlier response as to what went wrong in beta. They've all but admitted it across many forums. It's better than Erling Ellingson of Funcom spouting nonsense though, eh?

Mark's a lot like Brad McQuaid in terms of his openness. Only difference is, his game delivered, where's McQuaid's needed a lot of love (which it's been getting thanks to SOE).

Another thing I wanted to add, as a member of the WAR community, the biggest desire of the vocal folks around WAR has been for the "buffage" of Open RvR. All this says to me is that said buffing is coming. Should be interesting to see what they cook up and if any of it matches what bloggers and friends alike have been suggesting.

Openedge1 said...

Well really, though I know you like to hate on WAR, there's more here than meets the eye.

I believe I was more neutral than usual.

On the one hand it is great that he is still willing to go into the work and see what is ticking what is not.

But, by his admission it makes it sound like he did NOT take some issues into account.
At this point, it becomes more a PR issue than anything.

It is like Steefel of Turbine stating he feels that LOTRO can reach the mass effect of WoW.
Stupid words.

It has been noted how the game was maybe not tested properly for beta, and that can be forgiven based on the developers input.

Yet, 7 pages NOW, makes it look like he is admonishing his team for issues he should also have been aware of all along...

His best bet is to really put a lid on it is my opinion.

when he speaks he makes Mythic look bad quite a bit.

It is all about the delivery...and Mark is not a good spokesman as has been proven time and again.

Bildo said...

I wasn't saying you weren't being neutral. :)

Really, as a player of the game, I LOVE reading Jacobs' words because it means he's paying attention and actively participating in the development of the game.

There's nothing here that says, "Oh no! Shut it, you're saying the wrong things."

Rather, it's him emphatically saying, "We're listening, and improvements are already in the pipeline."

It's the kind of straightforward talk I love see from the developers of these games. I honestly wish there was more of it.

It's a dangerous game, no doubt about it. So let's see how it plays out. Will it be backed up by actual results, or will it be Vanguard at launch?

No what I mean? It could really go either way. I'm just there's such open communication, and I hope it doesn't stop any time soon.

Openedge1 said...


Sorry, guess I cannot recognize a "lovetap" from a dig...

Kisses for you, too!!!


Actively participating? After the fact though?

This is what strikes me as odd. Maybe he used his words incorrectly, and I stated this over at Hudsons blog...
He should have been more careful, as he makes it sound like he started playing the game...and we know that just cannot be true..

Can it?

What is funny is the two views I pointed out.

One a WAR fan thinks it is awesome (like you) news.

One disappointed in WAR (and add Hudson in that mix with the same reactions) and how he sees a developer who does not care.

It is quite interesting.

But, lets look at someone who NEVER tried the game to get a "neutral" view...

(adingworld who never tried the game...)
I have no clue to the extent the RvR has problems in the game. But if they have serious issues then one thing Mythic should examine is what caused their own playtesting and betatesting to miss these issues before release?

Leave to an outside party to really hit home...

Bildo said...

Hey, I said that in the post above his... just far more verbosely (is that a word?).

They definitely needed a "Play it like it was live" portion of the beta-test.

But see, on the outside, from the vocal minority, we're all making more news out of this than it really is.

Were I back at home, not stuck at work, you know what I'd be doing? Playing and enjoying the game I love to play. The only care I'd have is whether or not my guild has any action going on.

The one thing I've noticed about all things Blogging these past few years of doing it is that we love to make news out of nothing, and circle-jerk around the same topics ad nauseum.

But hey, we must be doing something right. Developers read, react, and respond to some of these blogs. It's good to know that our passion about this genre is paid attention to by more than just ourselves.

Openedge1 said...

Hey, I said that in the post above his... just far more verbosely (is that a word?).

Yes, but you were there, you were in Beta, you played from launch.

He did not. and that is the point...the fact that someone outside the whole scheme seeing what is wrong with what is going on.

Now, as to the "circle jerk", hey what else would we do? Play games?

I think not!

Bildo said...

If only I could at work!

Tesh said...

As a game dev, I've got to think that Jacobs should have seen at least some of these things long before now. Certainly there will be things that won't come up until a few thousand people try to break your game, but other things, like the scenario imbalance, wasn't that hard to foresee. This is the sort of stuff that game designers get paid to figure out in the design phase, long before the game even reaches beta.

I can't shake the "forest for the trees" feeling that I get when I read what Jacobs has to say.