Mythic and WAR Learn from Camelot
An Interview with Lance Robertson, Producer for Warhammer: Age of Reckoning
By Cody “Micajah” Bye
There are few games these days that I’ve not had an opportunity to see, play, or demo. As I travel about the country, attending conferences and press events, one game has been able to consistently slip past me. Whether I was attending a different interview or simply did not attend a particular conference, Warhammer: Age of Reckoning has been consistently on my “high status” list but continued to slip through my grasp. As a fan of fantasy MMOGs, Warhammer Online – even in its earliest, pre-Mythic version – was very high on my list of game to expect great things from. Yet I hadn’t been able to view the game in a face-to-screen scenario.
Jeff (left), Garrett (right), and Lance Robertson (back) preparing for the video interview.
My attendance at the San Diego Comic-Con has changed all that, and I can safely say that I was thoroughly impressed with what EA Mythic had on display at the convention. Upon arriving at the official preview night (which turned out to be little more than a glorified “stand in line for the latest toy” event), we pushed through the already expansive crowd and made our way to the booth that EA Mythic had erected in the fairly inconspicuous position near the back of the hall. Unlike most conferences, Comic-Con has a variety of venues that attract people and video games are only a small part of that whole equation. Even Blizzard had a small booth compared to the comic book industry leaders like Marvel, DC, and Dark Horse.
Arriving at the Mythic booth, I immediately planted myself in front of a Warhammer terminal and went to work. The character that I selected (out of the Greenskin, Dwarf, Empire, and Chaos races) was a first level Goblin Squig Herder. I proceed through a variety of initial quests, ranging from the destruction of the impeding dwarves to the killing of thirty “annoying squigs”. The dark humor inherent to the Warhammer universe was more than apparent in everything that my Squig Herder did. My special attacks were called “Plink” (an attack with my bow) and “Stabbity” (a lunge with my spear) while I actively summoned a squig to function as my pet.
As I progressed through these quests, Lance Robertson saw me wandering around the countryside and came to assist me. He pointed out some terrific entry level quests, like slinging mud on a dwarven statue and killing dwarves that had been stuffed in barrels (some thanks to Murgash the Choppa). Eventually, Lance and I were pulled away from the computer monitor so he could produce the Comic-Con 2007 Warhammer Online video that Garrett Fuller participated in and Jeff Woleslagle edited. After you finish with this article make sure you check out the video; it’s terrific. Eventually, Garrett finished his questions and I got my chance to really get in depth with Lance.
Many Dark Age of Camelot veterans hope to experience improved versions of the RvR playstyles we learned to love in Mythic's first game.
While I had just finished up my first official visit through the Warhammer: Age of Reckoning entry levels, I have long been familiar with the game and the notoriety of their stellar development studio. More than a little interested in the correlation between Dark Age of Camelot and WAR, when I was presented with my own opportunity to pry the exquisite details Lance had inside his vast mind.
For many of us who were once Dark Age of Camelot junkies, we’ve been incredibly anxious to play through Mythic’s latest creation. We all love realm versus realm combat, but I wanted to go beyond RvR combat when discussing some of the elements that Mythic brought from DAoC to WAR. When I proposed this question to Lance here’s what he had to say:
“One of the main things we learned about in Dark Age was character class balancing and the speed of combat. For instance, we know how long combat should be in an open arena compared to an eight versus eight area. We have a lot of experience now, and I think the fans are going to be pleasantly surprised with some of the subtle changes we’ve made to some of the concepts we first came up with in DAoC.”