Gab Bag: Pre-Launch Jitters!August 13, 2008
Ooch, I almost forgot about this feature — and I really wanted to keep it going! In this edition of the Gab Bag, I asked Champions of Stuff, Boathammer and Werit to chime in with their thoughts as to the first day (and week) in Warhammer Online!
1. Are you rolling characters on two or more servers, and if so, are you joining more than one guild?
Champions of Stuff [CoS]:I will most likely roll on two servers, want to experience both sides of the fight. As for guilds, that really depends on how things unfold.
Werit: Werit can not be contained by a single server. So yes, I do plan on rolling on a 2nd server so I can play on the Destruction side. They have some really interesting character classes. As for joining multiple guilds, no need with Casualties of WAR, since we have an Order and Destruction branch. 🙂
Boathammer: The idea sounds cool, but it sounded cool in WoW too, and in four years of WoW I got one horde char up to 20 (after four alliance 60’s and one 70). So probably one server, one guild.
Syp: Actually, this past week I finally settled on two guilds — one on each side — and joined up with them. Both have friends I’ve wanted to play WAR with, so I’m looking forward to seeing how that goes. I’ve never started a MMO playing two sides, but I’ve ended up doing so in different games, so hopefully I can remain balanced there.
2. If you could add something to the Collector’s Edition package, what would it be?
Werit: A Dwarf miniature instead of that crappy Greenskin one 😉 Overall, I am pretty satisfied with the CE.
Boathammer: The whole thing should come in a giant Chosen helmet.
Syp: A developer commentary or “making of” DVD.
CoS: A plush chicken.
3. Even as a WAR blogger and future player, what other games (if applicable) will fill some of your gaming time this year?
Boathammer: Bioshock, TF2, CoH (RTS not MMO), Puzzle Quest, Braid, Castle Crashers, GoW 2, DoW 2 (I hope), and hoping to get a Wii at Christmas (wife wants one). Also this simple web clone (written by my brother) of an apple II game we played as kids. I’m writing this email in between turns, actually.
Syp: Spore and Fallout 3 are the only “must get” titles on my radar, although I don’t know when I’ll actually get them. Oh! And Chrono Trigger for the DS. That I’ll have on the first day of release.
CoS: Just finished playing Portal… I know, I’m behind the times. Will most likely look into Left4Dead and Fallout 3. Man, not really sure what’s actually coming out later this year. I’m interested in the new
Wolfenstein, StarCraft II, RAGE, would love to see HL2: Episode Three but I won’t hold my breath for that anytime soon.
Werit: WotLK will get some play time, as will Stargate Words. I am really looking forward to Fallout 3 as well.
4. How many character names do you have ready for launch, how upset will you be if they’re taken, and what will you do then? WHAT WILL YOU DO?
Syp: My “character names” document is up to… letsee… 96 names as of today, and I always add one or two each day as I hear or read a cool word/name. So I’m not beholden to any one name, I just have a giant list that I’ll pick and choose from.
Werit: I have a couple in mind. I have kept them secret as you have already laid claimed to Werit! I won’t be very upset. Most of the times I end up using a result of the games random name generator. As long as it sounds right, it is ok with me.
CoS: I have an army of names ready, and they’re never taken. Never.
Boathammer: I do have some favorites but I am used to coming up with new names as necessary, usually with the word “boat” in them. Not a coincidence that “Boatorious” shares this trait.
5. Quick off the cuff prediction – which of the 20 classes will be deemed “OP” (overpowered) within the first month of release?
CoS: Bright Wizard, I’m going to destroy some people. Wait, wait… I’m having a flashback to DAoC…
Boathammer: I know so little I cannot even give an off the cuff prediction. Of all the things that interest me in MMORPG’s, classes (careers) don’t really hold my attention. Pre-launch, anyway.
Werit: Engineer of course. Once Mythic sees what I am doing to their populations, they will have no choice. Seriously though, I would guess the stealth classes would be a good canidate. Stealth always seems to add some complexity to the balance. The large amount of folks rolling those will also contribute to the OP perception.
Syp: Any high-DPS, long-range class — Bright Wizard and Sorceress for starters. Distance damage (and rooting) always gives you a distinct advantage in PvP, especially when you have a crowd to hide in while you nuke away.
6. Since the MMO market has changed and evolved from Warcraft’s 2004 release and Everquest’s 1999 release (to name a couple), what’s different with a release of a 2008 fantasy MMO today than the older titles had it?
Boathammer: I can’t say much about EQ. WoW has raised the bar if you want to be a “great” MMORPG, but created so many MMORPG players that it’s easier to build a sustainable subscription base even if your game isn’t great. So, if you want to create a new AAA title and be talking 100k or more subs, you need to be much better than you did before 2004. If you just want to survive, it’s easier than ever.
Werit: One of my favorite quotes/lyrics is: “The more things change, the more things stay the same.” (Cinderalla). I don’t see much of a difference at all. This isn’t a bad thing, as there is a reason these games are so popular. What has happened is a standard feature set has developed. MMO’s in 2008 have the advantage of building off that set since it has proven to work.
Syp: It’s a less forgiving market — people expect higher quality out of the gate, bigger subscription numbers to qualify as a “success”, and everything all the previous MMOs offered plus more stuff. It’s like a succession of mountains, each peak higher than the next, and I can’t imagine the pressure it puts on dev teams.
CoS: Player and Developer expectations of quality. The Market is saturated, if you want to succeed, you can’t just toss something out and hope it lands right side up. I think AoC might go down in history as the last great blunder (or not!)…but that kind of half-assing just doesn’t cut it anymore. I think it’s probably caused by a number of things really, but the end result is an overall increase in quality. Just to clarify, by “…quality”, I mean the actual product and not our level of enjoyment from playing. I think if WAR is remembered for anything, it will be raising the quality bar the same way WoW raised the ‘wow’ bar.