Exclusive WAR State of the Game Interview with Mark Jacobs

Questions by Cody "Micajah" Bye (Managing Editor) and Garrett Fuller (Industry Relations)
Questions by Cody "Micajah" Bye (Managing Editor) and Garrett Fuller (Industry Relations)

Answers by Mark Jacobs (VP, GM Mythic Entertainment)

The launch of Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning has arguably been one of the smoothest game releases in MMOG history. With its combination of compelling RvR combat and PvE innovations, WAR is on a solid pace to hit a million subscriptions within the first two months of release. To give gamers an idea of what the Mythic Entertainment team has been working on, GM/VP Mark Jacobs released a "State of the Game" report, where he discussed a number of upcoming elements for the game, including the release of two of the four cut classes - the Black Guard and the Knight of the Blazing Sun - and a variety of improvements to Open RvR. As always, the Ten Ton Hammer staff quickly got on the phone with Mark about the changes and the details on what players really should expect from Mythic Entertainment.

In Part One of this two part interview, we talk with Mark about the addition of the two classes, the situation with crafting, and the upcoming alterations to RvR. Please enjoy!

The Knight of the Blazing Sun will soon be available to Order players as a viable tanking class.

Ten Ton Hammer: Why did you decide to release the Black Guard and the Knight of the Blazing Sun before the other two classes? Do we really need tanks more than DPS classes?

Mark Jacobs: First thing, in terms of why we're releasing those two, we wanted the classes to be great when they're released. Second, I can't really agree with you in that we have enough tanks, especially on the Order side. If you look at what people are saying on the boards and if you look at the scenario break down, Order needs more tanks. It really made sense to release those two first.

Even if the other two classes were ready - which they're not - it still would have been an easy decision to put the Order tank in there and we may as well put the Blackguard in there so we can do both at once.

Ten Ton Hammer: I wasn't necessarily saying that one faction or the other didn't need more tanks, I was just wondering why you did it one way or the other.

Mark: And that's the reason why. Order just needs another tank. If you talk to the community on the various forums and the feedback we're getting on the breakdown of various classes and such, Order definitely will benefit from having some more tanks. If you look at the tanks that they have to choose from, they didn't have a human tank, which is important to some players.

Ten Ton Hammer: What are the next two classes going to be? Are you sticking with the Choppa and Hammerer?

Mark: Let me put it this way, I know what one of them is going to be, and I'm not 100% sure about the second.

Mark wasn't going to reveal whether the Choppa and Hammerer were going to be the next classes added to the game or not.

Ten Ton Hammer: What kind of impact will these two classes have on the faction balance in the game? Will it even out the Order / Destruction discrepancies?

Mark: I certainly hope so. If you look at the numbers from the community, they're already starting to even out like we thought they would. When you put in an Order class and you put in a tank class that is specifically a human, I think players might have wanted to play a tank on Order, but they didn't necessarily want to play a Dwarf or a High Elf.

Ten Ton Hammer: What kind of career changes should players expect from the team after what you described in the "State of the Game" letter? Are we going to be seeing entirely new abilities, or just a tweaking of old ones?

Mark: We don't have all the details yet; we're still working on it as you can imagine. If it was all done, we'd put it all in there! But the focus is on tweaking what's there. We're not removing and we're not - and I detest this word - nerfing anything that's there. That is not the focus of this. The team has agreed that we can "up" things much more often than we can "reduce" things.  

Ten Ton Hammer: What are your thoughts on the current state of city sieges and how that's been going?

Mark: First of all, no one has actually completed an entire siege on any city. I think it's hard to explain the city sieges to someone. Some players just think that you go into the city, and once you take the city... that's it, you're done. That's not true.

There's more to a city siege than simply taking over the rival's capitol.

Taking the city and holding it for a little bit doesn't give you access to everything you can do there. Those players didn't kill the king. They didn't touch all of the content that was available to them. And so when people say that they've reached the end game and they're done, it's actually not true. Being able to get to the city and essentially take the city is not the only thing you can do. There are lots and lots of other things to do.

You guys know this, but we expected to have one city siege a month on a server. It's been three weeks for the official release and longer than that for the head start. If you're looking across all servers - and I'm just talking about North America - we have 55 servers; even if we took just the high population servers, you should've had at least 15 taking the cities. Once per month per servers. We're not there yet.

I think we need to be very clear that there were bugs that people took advantage of. They didn't necessarily exploit the bugs in terms of cheating, but there were certainly bugs that allowed them to do things like contest the city when they probably shouldn't have. But that's just one server.

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