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Games Day 2007: The Human Side of WAR - Page Two

Updated Wed, Jan 02, 2008 by Cody Bye

The guys were also eager to talk about the public quest system and why it is so important in an MMO. They both agreed that this style of questing seemed like it would be common sense. But Paul was quick to mention that, “Common sense is not always common.” Most MMOGs force you to go and find your quest then carry it out. Jeff describes Public Quests as “A system in the game that does all the stuff people talk about, it tells a story, it draws you in, it is compelling, and it rewards you.” The EA Mythic team is very excited about the Public Quest System and how it will work for players and make them feel like they are a part of the world, part of a faction, and part of a team.

Warhammer Booth
A view of the Warhammer booth.

Both RvR and the city campaigns play a huge part in Warhammer and also came up as we were talking about the feeling behind the game. In regards to RvR, Jeff mentioned that “RvR is accessible by anyone; it’s interesting and engaging,” but he also noted that “the capital city campaigns are freaking amazing.” The folks at EA Mythic are not just trying to make the city campaigns work; they are trying to make them an amazing experience for the player.

When talking about the cities, Paul had mentioned that everyone was focused on the times that a city would be attacked and rampaged. Paul then explained that this happens about one day out of every thirty. He asked the question, “What do you do the other twenty nine days in that city? You live in it!”  He expressed that he had to make the team understand that building a living capital city was crucial.

Jeff explained that the team really wants to “build a city that lives and that when people go there they have a different experience each time.” Again this goes back to their way of thinking on the game, the cities won’t just work; they will live.

So what happens when you attack that living city? Here was Jeff’s response:

“It’s literally capturing somebody’s city, having a bonfire in the middle of the town square, picking a stick out of it, running down the alley ways, kicking open doors, setting houses on fire, killing the occupants, stealing their loot.”

Needless to say, these guys are not just thinking of RvR that works, they are thinking of making campaigns and battles that have a feeling, that have It.

It is a rare event when a company is bold enough to take a stance on the MMO market and talk about other games. In this case both Paul and Jeff discussed how they felt Warhammer would impact the market when the game launched.

Paul explained that you need three things to build a strong game in a very competitive market. He said you need a strong team, a few new ideas, and mass appeal. In the best analogy I have heard, Paul summed up his feelings on the MMO market and where he felt Warhammer would fit in. If you follow music, you will understand this completely:

“WoW is The Beatles who changed music forever. You can’t be the Beatles; they already exist. You can’t copy them. If you try, you become The Monkees. You’ve got no chance. We’re not The Beatles. We’re Led Zeppelin. We’re very Heavy Metal…we Rock. That’s what we do. W.A.R. rocks. We’re heavy metal, hard rock.”

I won’t try to explain that quote; I’ll let it stand for itself. I will say that Paul really conveys the feeling behind the game here very well. There is a passion for heavy metal that started with Led Zeppelin and changed music in an entirely different way. W.A.R. hopes to capture that passion and of course…rock.

Jeff and Paul Presentation-2
Jeff and Paul's Presentation.

Both Jeff and Paul pointed out that W.A.R. is one of the first games to go through production in the post-WoW era. This gives them an advantage to see how the market has changed and evolved. Paul was happy to mention an element that sets W.A.R. apart in the current MMO market. “Our end game is in from the beginning,” he said.  That statement attacks a problem that many MMOGs have suffered from. Few games have come up with a strong end game right from launch, and W.A.R. hopes to be different.




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