Even though he works for big corporate alien overlords at TTH, the Imperial Inquisition has to admit that RadarX does a bang-up job keeping WAR to the forefront on the site. Therefore, we let him off the hook after a light flaying.
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.
RADARX: My name is Tony Jones and I currently use the handle RadarX which I’ve had since the BBS days of yore. I’m currently a Community Manager at the Ten Ton Hammer network where over the years I’ve been involved with a number of our sites including EverQuest 2, Lord of the Rings Online, and Tabula Rasa.
My MMO game experience goes back to probably Ultima Online, but my first true love was the widely known EverQuest which I played for roughly a year and a half. I’ll leave out what I’ve played and just try and hit the most influential games for brevity. From EverQuest there I bounced around a few games but spent some time in Dark Ages of Camelot and Star Wars Galaxies before settling in EverQuest 2 for long while. After a few years there I tried played World of Warcraft on and off, Lord of the Rings Online for a few months, and then landed at Tabula Rasa for a bit.
My playstyle is varied depending on the game. I’ve done some hardcore raiding, end game PvE, and a little PvP although time restrains me from much more than PvE these days. I tend to be extremely laid back and most concerned about having fun with friends.
WAAAGH!: What type of social play do you gravitate towards: soloing, participating in small guilds/small groups, or participating in large guilds/large raids?
RADARX: I have a small group of good friends that I’ve played MMO games with for years now that I tend to stick to. I’m not adverse to grouping in any way, but I do tend to solo when I’m not with them. Large raids are always fun, although raiding in the traditional sense tends to have a much slower pace than I like. I usually spend most of the passing time poking at people and trying to create mischief.
WAAAGH!: What motivated you to get involved with the WAR community and how did you go about doing it?
RADARX: The Warhammer IP has always intigued me, and the demo I saw at E3 in 2006 was interesting enough I’ve been trying to follow the game ever since. I was already working for Ten Ton Hammer when they asked me if I’d be interested in helping out with our Warhammer Online site. How could I say no? I can say with complete certainty this community is like nothing else I’ve ever encountered.
WAAAGH!: What are some of the more notable trends you’ve observed in the WAR community since you’ve been active in it?
RADARX: I think one thing I’ve noticed about the WAR community is it’s passion. Every game has a loyal base of fans who want nothing more than it to be the best game ever. This community has people who have been playing the tabletop games for years and years and have the highest expectations for quality.
I think this is also the first time I’ve seen a game so close in popularity in both the EU and the United States. The prospect of interacting with so many cultures is something I’ve had very little experience in. It’s intriguing and very intimidating all at the same time.
If nothing else, I don’t think any other community has people that will scream “Waaagh!” or anything like it at random intervals.
WAAAGH!: Did you play Dark Age of Camelot (or do you still), and what did you like/hate about it?
RADARX: I did play Dark Age of Camelot. I think one of the biggest draws for me was the feeling of being a part of something. I wasn’t just grinding levels to better my gear (ok I was but there was more), but helping fight a war against very real opposition.
Unfortunately that was also a double edged blade as well. There were times I really didn’t want to be involved in the on going struggle. Maybe I was distracted by something else or, didn’t have time to dedicate, but for whatever reason I wanted to just play some PvE content. There wasn’t a lot of focus on that system, at least early on. I’ve heard it’s much better now, but it was something that really hurt the game for me.
WAAAGH!: What PvP experience do you have, and what are your general feelings on it?
RADARX: I wouldn’t call myself a hardcore or super experienced PvP player but I’ve been around the block enough to know when I’m out of my element. I try to gravitate towards friends who are bloodthirsty and more skilled so when they distract people I just sneak in and stab them. Yeah, I get the “There is no honor…” but this is PvP. Honor went out the window eons ago.
PvP in general I see as a necessary form of play for most games and every MMO. That’s another thing I think Warhammer Online is doing right which is building it into the foundation of the game. We’ve seen other games tack PvP mechanics on to an existing system, and in some cases they can prove somewhat successful like WoW’s Battlegrounds/Arena works. However from a development standpoint you are still constantly adjusting two different rule sets for everything from skills to items.
WAAAGH!: What faction (order/chaos) do you plan siding with when the game releases, and why?
RADARX: I will likely side with the order faction because the Empire just seems to fit my personal preferences. Being in the service of a mighty kingdom seems very medieval and powerful so I’m hoping I get that feeling there.
I’m absolutely in love with the idea of the Witch Hunter although disappointingly I’ve been told I can’t actually hunt witches. There is something less dramatic about yelling “Cease your evil deeds Orc Choppa and prepare to feel my holy wrath!” Historically I never end up with my first choice so it’ll likely be my second which I haven’t determined quite yet.
WAAAGH!: What class(es) currently appeal to you the most, and are they similar or different to classes you typically play in other MMOs?
RADARX: As I said above my first choice is going to be a Witch Hunter, not only for the fact I get to wear a Puritan hat (which is awesome) but that close range DPS fits my playstyle. I’ve always been drawn to Rogue type classes that sneak and cause general mischief. I literally have 6 Rogues in World of Warcraft so I don’t see that changing any time soon.
For the most part I think from reading most of the Warhammer Online classes are going to fit the normal old school mold of Fighter, Nuker, Healer, Melee DPS, etc… What I’ve been impressed with however is how they are dealing with the Priest classes and attempting to make them more viable in combat than you see in other games.
WAAAGH!: What features of WAR have you the most excited to experience?
RADARX: Honestly, the single feature I’m looking most forward to is Keeps and Sieges. I’m a pretty big fan of games like Team Fortress 2 and Wolfenstein so this feels a bit like capturing/defending control points except we get to use catapults and ballistas. Boiling oil! What else do you need in a game besides the opportunity to pour boiling oil on your enemy?
WAAAGH!: Did you apply for the beta, did you get into the beta, and have you pre-ordered the CE?
RADARX: Yes I’m among those who hundreds of thousands that applied. My system specs at the time were pretty low so I’m certain that tanked my chance. I have not yet ordered my CE but in the next 2 or 3 weeks I want to pick it up before they run out over here in the US. I did an editorial last week about why beta wasn’t a big deal, so I’m really in no hurry to see the game before it’s done (not that I’d turn down beta mind you).
WAAAGH!: What concerns do you have for WAR’s gameplay and future?
RADARX: Warhammer Online’s gameplay is heavily dependent on RvR participation, and keeping people motivated to do this will be challenging. I know EA Mythic is using mechanics like the Dogs of War and city sacking to keep things balanced and fun, so I’m confident they are heading in the right direction with that. You’ve got a strong IP that is recognized throughout Europe and the US along with a very dynamic group of people like Barnett, Drescher, and Hickman so they have a lot going for them.
What could I see coming in the way of being the ultimate game? Age of Conan is obviously getting a lot of hype. You’ve also got a World of Warcraft expansion in the works that will likely release the same quarter. As long as they release early Q4 and don’t back up too close to the retail season, I can see things going well for them.
WAAAGH!: What will you be doing with your gaming time between now and WAR’s release?
RADARX: This is actually a unique opportunity for me as I’m usually committed to playing a game related to my Ten Ton Hammer work. I’ve been tooling around in World of Warcraft with a few friends and there are a few free to plays like Wakfu and Age of Armor I’m planning on trying out. I just finished up Assassin’s Creed and I’m looking forward to playing Mass Effect and Age of Conan in the next few weeks as well.
Beyond that, there is plenty to cover with Warhammer Online not to mention the bi-weeklyish podcast I do.
Thanks for the opportunity to do this.