Ten Ton Hammer: In a few
of the reviews of Warhammer Online, you've been criticized for the href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/45554" target="_blank">crafting
system that's in place in the game. And I'll even say that it
does seem a bit over-the-top to "watch grass grow." Are you planning on
doing any sort of work on the crafting system in the near future? Maybe
make it a bit less complicated and more intuitive?

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The crafting
system in WAR is designed to allow players the freedom to do other
activities besides just crafting.

Mark: First
of all, anything different is usually met with criticism by some
people. If you go to the reviews, you'll see some people saying that
it's innovative and it's great. Others say "Oh my god! Why'd they do it
this way? Why not do it like every other game?"

We didn't want to do it that way! Yes, we could have done the recipe
system. Yes, we could have done what Camelot did. But it's been done
before. It's so funny; while we were developing Warhammer, people would
say "Oh please, don't make it like WoW! Make it different!" And when we
put in something that is really different than WoW, people go "Wait a
second, why didn't they just make it like WoW?"

That's the first thing. Second thing, it's your choice. That's the
beauty of it. You don't have to just sit there. In the video - in the
podcast and interviews I've given - I said look, we didn't want a
system like we had in Camelot. We don't want people to sit there doing
crafting, crafting, crafting and not enjoy anything else. With
cultivating, all you have to do is plant a seed and go. Go do something
else, if you want. Or, if you're someone that really enjoys doing that
and adding the things, you can do that as well.

It's really up to you, whether you want to take advantage of a system
that can be used to while away some time, or that you can can enjoy in
the background while you go do other things. As a crafter in Warhammer,
you can go do other things at the same time. If you're a crafter in
most other games, you can't. You just have to sit there and go "Ok,
here's my 500th arrow. Wow. That was exciting."

Is our crafting system the most magnificent achievement ever in the
history of MMOs? Of course not. But it's not just the same crafting
system that you've seen in MMO after MMO after MMO. We hoped that you'd
then take that idea and use it as a foundation for the whole crafting
system and expand it even more with other crafting careers as well as
making a lot of the tweaks that we need to do to the system so it's not
too complicated and continues to be easy and see where it takes us.

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Mark Jacobs
is certain that WAR could not have released without crafting.

Ten Ton Hammer: Since WAR
is so action-packed, do you think you could've released the game
without a crafting system?

Mark: "Oh my
god, they don't have a crafting system?! What were you doing with those
three years?!"

That's what the reaction would have been. Again, you go back to what
we've been doing over the last three years and talking to the players.
They didn't want the game to be "Crafthammer". This game should be
about war. We don't want what's in these other games. We want it to be
different. So we tried to make it that way. I guarantee you that if we
didn't have a crafting system, almost every reviewer would have marked
us down.

We actually went through all the reviews, and there are a few of them
that ask the question - "Is this all there is to the crafting system?"
You've gotta figure that if they're asking whether that's all there is,
you need to release with something or there'd be even more

From what we've seen so far, people are loving it. Not everyone, of
course, but not everyone loves everything in any MMO. If you look at
the MMOs that have come out, the vast majority of them - frankly I
can't think of a single one - where everyone loved the crafting system.
If you go back to the old school MMOs, where crafting was so
complicated and complex and involved so many things - you can go back
to EQ, Camelot, and even Vanguard - I guarantee you that not everyone
that played those games crafted.

The vast majority of the people that played those games didn't craft
because they were so time consuming. WoW changed the paradigm on that.
It's one of the things that they did very well for some people. But
they made it very easy. I call it "popcorn crafting." We wanted to do
something that was a little more than that but certainly not crazy like
some of the older games.

Ten Ton Hammer: As you
said in your "State of the Game" letter, it seems like RvR itemization
needs a bit of tweaking. How will the new RvR influence system work?

Mark: No
details yet.

Ten Ton Hammer: You're
killing me, Mark. *laughs*

Mark: I
know... If I was ready to talk about it, I would've written more about
it in the State of the Game. It's something that we're definitely
working on and we really want to get it right. I know for sure that
it's not going to be designed to encourage people to play scenarios.

Our game is about target="_blank">RvR and Open RvR is supposed to be
a significant piece of that. We already have a good group of people
that love the scenarios and have a great time leveling up, but there
are people that want open RvR. In some of the notes, I've said that we
need to do more to encourage people to get out into Open RvR, so if we
made a system that simply allowed people to go into more scenario based
RvR that wouldn't be achieving our goals.

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itemization will be seeing some changes in the coming months.

Ten Ton Hammer: Along
those lines, will we still need to go to Keeps to get our RvR gear and
training? What about those folks that are on a server where their
faction never actually captures a Keep?

Players are always going to look for the quickest way to level. That's
true for any MMO. Any developer that doesn't see that hasn't been
paying enough attention. Right now, the fastest way to level is through
scenarios. I don't want to nerf scenarios; I'd much rather improve Open
RvR. Now some people will think we're nerfing scenarios simply because
we're adding more to Open RvR, but that's just how it's going to be.

People are having a great time in scenarios, but we're also trying to
get people into Open RvR. Even if some of the population from scenarios
goes into Open RvR, there will still be a large amount of the
population running through scenarios. Those people may not want to go
into Open RvR. I'm not the least bit concerned about that. We just need
to keep upping the rewards for Open RvR until people decide that is
absolutely worth it.

Part of the problem is that we have some many people coming from WoW
and they're not used to Open RvR. The Dark Age of Camelot guys, they
know what Open RvR is, but the WoW guys don't, because they're not used
to that.

sure you check with Ten Ton Hammer tomorrow for Part Two of the Mark
Jacobs interview!

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Last Updated: Mar 29, 2016