I step around the bodies and head towards the Hickman’s
office. There is a faint smell of liquor.
… Why don’t you have us buy you something? [ style="font-style: italic;">prods the tape recorder]
So here I am talking to … is it on? Here I am talking to
Justin on a 1800-year old …
I’m not actually going to use the audio …
I’m going to transcribe it. You don’t need to talk
right into it.
JH: Justin [ style="font-style: italic;">while beating the tape recorder]…
you are cheap. So, I’m sitting here drinking bourbon. And
….So, I have to talk to you don’t I? Just pretend
that bit didn’t happen. Does it pick me up?
will be interesting.
JW: It will.
JH: So, What
did we do tonight? So we got in on Deathsword and it is the version we
are going to go live with. And it’s an odd feeling. I
don’t know if other people have it, because I don’t
know if they realize, truly, that what we were playing tonight is the
game when we go live. There really will be no more changes.
There’s nothing left for us to do. We’ve got four
days, and we’re gonna go live. Everybody thinks
it’s the 18th. We announced today that it’s
actually the 14th. When we talk about our head start, it’s
actually our live date. So we’re going to let all of our
Collector’s Edition players in on the 14th, which means
60,000 people are going to come in and play. So the version
we’re seeing is THE version. … Version
one-point-oh. Which is cool as hell by the way.
were you playing tonight?
JH: So I was
playing a … I was playing a Witch Hunter. I ALWAYS play a
Witch Hunter, … because they are awesome.
JW: I was
playing a Bright Wizard. I was burninating the villagers.
JH: [nods in
approval] I got in. Played through the first quests, Got into the
scenarios … Played two scenarios. And just reveled in the
final-touch beauty of the game. And it’s the little stuff
that again nobody really notices but me: The spacing of the PQ tracker
that we fixed; the new loot window; some of the stuff on the new PQ
tracker that we’ve just polished up.
JW: So, in
the last couple of days, have you seen anything that was something you
hadn’t seen for a while that had been updated? That made you
go “Ooooh! I’ve forgotten how cool that
was” or “that looks a million times
anything where you walked around and found something and said
“Yeees! that’s effing cool” or any little
funny things you haven’t noticed before.
That’s tough for me. I really do look at the game all the
time. So, I hadn’t seen the Dwarf starter area in probably a
month. I just hadn’t been in it. When you start playing one
area all the time, you forget how characterful it is, and when you go
to another area, it’s different. It doesn’t just
look different. The way it plays; the way it sounds; everything in that
area is completely different from the game you’ve been
playing for the last month. And it really underlines to me, just how
re-playable the game is. Like, play the game through as an Empire
person. Go back and start over as a dwarf. It will be completely
I noticed something tonight that I hadn’t noticed before.
JH: Did you
notice the eyepatch?
Angie’s character was wearing an eyepatch.
went in like four days ago.
haven’t played E1 (Empire Chapter 1) for a long time. So I
went into the hub and some of the NPC placement was modified, and there
were a couple of extra green overhead quest-giver icons. So I clicked
on one, and it was a Tome quest and I hadn’t done a Tome
quest before, and that was really cool.
JH: They are
cool. Everything has just super-come-together. The new skinning of the
Tome is awesome. It’s all … it makes me excited.
Just then, a cleaner wearing a backpack vacuum cleaner arrives and
starts cleaning around us. The audio is toast. Jeff chuckles and starts
singing “Who you gonna call? Ghostbusters!”
JW: One of
the things about the old Tome, that, while everything was in it, was if
you went to a new unlock and then went back out, and decided
you wanted to double check it and maybe set it as a title, it was hard
to get back and find some of the places. And now, all the tabs make
sense, everything is front facing and upfront …
awesome …Yeah! Yeah! This is pretty boring right? What else?
Come on Justin! [Claps]
don’t know. I wanted to get you playing. I wanted to get you
you missed me in the scenarios.
people gang up on you?
don’t gang up on me, I just kill them. [ style="font-style: italic;">Jeff leans back and punches the
air. It’s quite frightening and the room fills with
JW: Do you
always play the same character name?
JH: Erm, I
have two character names. They’re very close to each other.
But I will always be playing the same character name because when we go
live, I get to reserve my name before anyone else on every single
JW: Is that
Damn straight it’s true!
JW: Is your
name a public name that you want people to know so they can hunt you
down and kill you.
JH: Hell no!
Are you crazy? No Way! Cos they won’t hunt me down and kill
me, they’ll send me tells about how awesome the game
is… and complain about their characters and stuff.
JW: All my
names are normally taken.
should reserve your name before you start playing the game. You can do
that Justin. I’ll be sending out an email about it. Everybody
in the studio has the ability to reserve their names before anybody
JH: Hey! You
don’t think we get perks! We get perks.
That’s interesting as well because I think most people who
play the same genre of games that we do – role-playing games
over and over and over again – always have that one name that
you are especially close to.
Absolutely. So, Ill give you all a little … you want a
little bit about my background? So I used to play EQ1…long
ago, thousands of years ago. And I was playing a dark elf, and my wife
got interested in the game and started to play and, of course, in EQ1
the only character my wife would play was a Wood Elf … the
pretty race. And she “really” wanted me to come
play with her. I didn’t want to because I would have had to
make either a wood elf or a half elf – they are the only ones
that started in that area. And so, I didn’t want to, because
I thought they were pansies, and so I ended up making a character at
her insistence. She was nagging me. And I made a character that was a
half elf, not a wood elf, a half elf. And I just tried to come up with
the stupidest, stupidest name I could just to spite her. And so,
BATSPANKER was born, because you kill bats a lot in that area. I ended
up playing EQ for three-and-a-half years as Batspanker…on
JW: So I
take it that’s not your preferred name?
Batspanker! No, Batspanker died with my EQ account.
Batspanker the Witch Hunter? So that’s not your Witch Hunter?
There’s lots of bats in E1.
Batspanker will not be resurrected in Warhammer. [ style="font-style: italic;">Chuckles].
It’s not going to happen, although it is a funny name.
JW: Is that
it’s bourbon. Yeah, it’s after six. BOURBON!
Blanton’s Select… From Colin Shannon’s
Bar, which he has in his office. … Now you just have to get
more hits than me.
WAR is coming!
As launch approaches, tempers begin to fray. As a social experiment, I
want to see whether small insignificant requests can push someone over
the edge. This small regular column is something I like to call
“Can I borrow a dollar please”. Today, I try
to” borrow a dollar please” from Ken Shuck [ style="font-style: italic;">Insider Note: Ken is the Senior
Development Director and ultimately my boss].
He’s been looking a bit stressed recently, so here goes:
JW: Do you
have change for a ten, or could I borrow a dollar please?
I’ll pay you back tomorrow.
KS: Sure, I
have two fives. Does that help?
JW: Hmmm I
really just need a one for the soda machine.
KS: OK. Here
JW: Thanks [ style="font-style: italic;">Hehe]
Hmmm. No implosion there then. Join me tomorrow, when I try to borrow a
dollar from Colin Hicks.
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Justin's exclusive WAR launch blogs, simply click here!)
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