While fishing around for heathen Warhammer bikini models, the Inquisition somehow stumbled upon Svoald, one of the two co-founders of Warhammer Geek. We threw him into a skimpy two-piece, applied the thumbscrews, and this is what we got.
WAAAGH!: Tell us a bit about yourself — your handle/screen name/real name, age, real life occupation, your previous MMO experience, and your play style.
SVOALD: Well, let’s see… My name is Kurt “Svoald” Scheuringer and I am a full-time student at the University of Central Florida studying Computer Science / Game Design. I was introduced to MMOs (and gaming in general) when I was roughly nine years old when a next door neighbor, equal-aged friend of mine always invited me over to play his Everquest character. I loved the MMO game concept and I played for days at a time at his house, but now I realize I was just his gold farming guy *haha…*. From then on it was downhill for me as I became involved in other various MMOs such as Legends of Kesmai, The Fourth Coming, Dark Age of Camelot, Everquest II, Vanguard, and now Warhammer Online. Regarding my play style, it seems to fluctuate with each month depending on time and motivation, but generally during the summer and winter months I tend to devote more time to playing and participating in some type of questing or dungeon crawl.
WAAAGH!: What type of social play do you gravitate towards: soloing, participating in small guilds/small groups, or participating in large guilds/large raids?
SVOALD: As of recently I have found myself doing a lot more soloing than ever before. I used to play with large guilds and participate weekly in decently sized raids, but if you don’t keep up with that play style, you’ll fall behind very quickly. With the recent interviews I have read about for Warhammer Online, it seems the game will cater to single groups and moderate sized guilds. This is hopefully the category I will want to slide into once the game launches. While I play I always like to be the one who explores new areas, finds new dungeons, or uncovers content which hasn’t necessarily been visited yet. Tradeskilling isn’t so much for me however every so often I’ll partake in it. RvR was a big thing for me in DAoC and hopefully it will be again in WAR.
WAAAGH!: What motivated you to get involved with the WAR community and how did you go about doing it?
SVOALD: The previous release of Dark Age of Camelot has been my motivation to come to the WAR community. I have been following Mythic’s games since they introduced DAoC and originally I came from the Imperator community or at least whatever interaction I had with it. Orlock, my partner at MMOGeek was the deciding factor when he linked me to a preview involving the feature list of WAR. Ever since September when he convinced me to come over, we had been thinking about the idea of coming up with a fansite. We had originally planned to launch in December with a standard look and backend system, but we redesigned our concept and launched on April 17th with a more unique look and functionality. Orlock and I knew each other previously from a guild within Everquest II and back in 2005 we launched a live EQ2 radio show on Online Gaming Radio which we held onto for about two years. We used our previous knowledge after our retirement from that particular radio show to create what we have today.
WAAAGH!: What are some of the more notable trends you’ve observed in the WAR community since you’ve been active in it?
SVOALD: This one will be hard to answer, but one trend that I have seen develop in this community involves combining several factors together like friendliness, event/community participation, and working together. All other MMO betas had this type of interaction to an extent but never to the ‘rank’ that this community has shown. Fansite owners here greet you to their forums, websites, and communities and offer to help you with anything you might need. Other beta communities by no means had this type of positive treatment and many people just simply became ignored on first contact. Besides that one trend, I think it’s too early to tell if there are any additional developing ones.
WAAAGH!: Did you play Dark Age of Camelot (or do you still), and what did you like/hate about it?
SVOALD: I used to play Dark Age of Camelot for about 4-5 years (starting from beta). One of the most notable aspects of the game is of course the unique concept of RvR, but if I had to name something else it would be how they implemented skills around the specialization lines. The one thing I hate, or at least wish they didn’t change, is the way the new RvR zones work. I liked the way the old zones were laid out and how there were actually decent, but risky, PvE hunting grounds out in the RvR mainland fields. Now, it’s mostly just all RvR. I believe in a game like that there should be rewarding PvE content which is located in dangerous RvR areas.
WAAAGH!: What PvP experience do you have, and what are your general feelings on it?
SVOALD: PVP directly has always been my forte, but I never seemed to voluntarily play on a PvP ruleset server on other MMOs that offered it as an additional feature. This may sound contradicting however I feel that games which were designed around PvP and automatically have it enabled for all players will be much better balanced than games that only introduced PvP later on as a bonus. I like the risk associated with hunting knowing you can be ganked at any moment because then I know that I can turn around and find somebody else to do the same thing to. The original Ultima Online (before expansions/facets) had the right system going for this and you were even able to loot your opponent if you defeated him. Awesome!
WAAAGH!: What faction (order/chaos) do you plan siding with when the game releases, and why?
SVOALD: I plan on playing the Order faction once the game goes live. Based on recent polls that I have seen, the majority of players will want to try the Greenskins and other Chaos races more so than the Order ones. Because of the reason stated in question 2, this will leave me more content to explore and discover without other people getting there first. At least this concept applies to content on the live server not counting what has been revealed on beta. Other reasons include less crowded areas and playing classes which exist less frequently.
WAAAGH!: What class(es) currently appeal to you the most, and are they similar or different to classes you typically play in other MMOs?
SVOALD: In the past I always used to play either a healing or a magic/wizard (DPS) type of class. To continue on with this trend I will most likely play an Empire Bright Wizard and a Dwarf Runepriest. I don’t know the full details behind every class yet so don’t quote me 100% on if those will be my final options. I know for sure though that my selection will remain in those two class archtypes.
WAAAGH!: What features of WAR have you the most excited to experience?
SVOALD: The RvR technology and the new Tome of Knowledge feature are where my most excitement lies. The RvR is simply on my list because I knew of the success it had in Mythic’s original game. I chose the Tome of Knowledge because it allows me now to track my adventures and exploration while suggesting to me what else I can do next. All the other features in the game are fantastic too, but I’m not reading into them on purpose so I can be marveled once it’s my turn to play.
WAAAGH!: Did you apply for the beta, did you get into the beta, and have you pre-ordered the CE?
SVOALD: I applied for beta back in November; however, I have not yet been selected to participate in any testing phase. I’m hoping that once open beta comes around that I will be selected by then. Shamefully I also have to say that I have not pre-ordered anything yet. As a college student money is hard to come by so I’m afraid I will not be able to afford anything other than the standard game copy.
WAAAGH!: What concerns do you have for WAR’s gameplay and future?
SVOALD: One major concern I have regarding Warhammer Online’s gameplay is that each class will be unique enough to have different responsibilities in diverse battle situations. From the descriptions I have read so far about the assorted classes it seems that although each class has a defined role or purpose, room for deviation does not seem to be worked into the equation. I hope though this is just due to the complex nature of each class and that the descriptions just don’t serve them well. As far as the future goes, let’s hope they have a smooth launch.
WAAAGH!: What will you be doing with your gaming time between now and WAR’s release?
SVOALD: Between now and launch I can say I will stick with playing Vanguard and occasionally swap time with Everquest II. If there is anything left over it will go towards a good FPS like Battlefield 2 or maybe a strategy game like Rome: Total War. If I get into beta though you can rest assure that my time allocation will change.