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Barnett Explores Players Behind Races - Part Two

Posted Tue, Oct 28, 2008 by Cody Bye

The creativity doesn't end when a game gets released, and the gamers within Mythic Entertainment's world aren't without their own creative notions either. As is common in any MMOG, Warhammer players are creating their own fantasy moments within the game and acting them out in their own ways. Being a developer, Paul Barnett has up-close access to these creative moments, and we wondered what a few of his favorite moments have been since the release of the game.

"The court of law that was taking place in front of the gallows in Altdorf struck me as utterly beautiful," Paul said. "And people putting on plays; I find that endlessly fascinating. People are pretending to play a fantasy guy who is pretending to be an actor who is pretending to act another role. That's four keyboard inputs away from your normal brain."

Paul loves seeing players go out of their way to roleplay scenes in WAR.

Being a former roleplayer, I can't help but smile at Paul's love of these moments. I remember creating my own moments within game's like EverQuest, EverQuest II and World of Warcraft, and I look forward to the day when I stumble upon a roleplaying scene in WAR.

Finally, at the end of our discussion about the creative scenes in WAR, Paul went on one of his trademark tangents and - as ever curious journalists - we let Paul say his piece. Like a moth to the flame, Paul was drawn to talk a bit more about roleplaying and what kind of players participate as the various races in the game. Before you read the rest of the interview, just know that most of the staffers at Ten Ton Hammer play as Greenskins except me; I play a Chaos Marauder....

"I have to give a hearty "Well done!" to people that play Dwarfs," Paul said. "I have a very simple theory about the people that play Dwarfs. Dwarfs are generally played by people who have come to terms with who they are. Most of the people I've met who like Dwarfs basically look like Dwarfs. Where as people that play Witch Elves don't look like Witch Elves. There's more of a reality mask with the Dwarfs. These folks go "I'm short. I'm bearded. I like beer. I think I'm going to be a Dwarf."

"And then they get into the game and have this dense gravitational field around them that draws people in," Paul continued. "They're very enjoyable and I'm very impressed with the Dwarfs. They have - by far - always excelled in the roleplay department, followed closely by the Greenskins."

"The Greenskins are great because the people that play them have worked out that life is very complicated, taxes exist, they're probably going to die, their children are going to give them grief, and they're never going to have enough money. They're drawn to Greenskins because the Greenskin solution is simplicity itself. You don't have to do much thinking, you're always happy, you know what you're going to do, and there are good gags."

"People that play Greenskins are liberated, because they don't need to worry about what it means to be in the Empire, or what it means to serve under a king. They basically say "Shuddup. Kill that. Drink beer. WAAGH." There's a purity to it."

"The people that play Chaos are typically two types of people: those who realize that the world is a corrupt unjust place and they want to play Chaos so they can be cruel and strange, or they're people who are just indulging their dark side and trying to do it with as many tentacles as possible. They're quite nice people, but you can't really think of them like Dwarfs because then they'd have tentacles and extra eyes and that sort of thing."

"I don't think people that play as Elves look like Elves either, because then I'd have to hunt them all down and kill them because they're too perfect. And if you did look like a Dark Elf or High Elf, you wouldn't be playing our game, you'd be walking around asking people to look at you because you're so beautiful."

With that, Paul had to take his leave and the Ten Ton Hammer staff was left laughing until tears flowed down our faces. Our thanks again go out to Paul for taking the time to discuss a bit of his thoughts on the social make-up of his game and sharing parts of his experiences with us.

Until next time, make sure you stay tuned to WAR and Ten Ton Hammer!
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