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Warhammer: Age of Reckoning to Release New Paid RvR Content

Updated Tue, Aug 24, 2010 by B. de la Durantaye

What’s up with Warhammer: Age of Reckoning? This is a question you’ve asked, so we brought it with us to gamescom this year. I sat down with WAR Producer, Carrie Gouskos, and she shared some news that the game is about to see some pretty big updates, in a way that the game has never before experienced.

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For the first time since its launch almost two years ago the team is working on paid content for the game in the form of an RvR content pack. The unique aspect to this new content is that players will be able to pick the features they want to use out of those that will be released with the content update. According to Gouskos, this will allow the player to decide which elements they would like to use and not be forced to buy an entire expansion for a handful of the features they want. The plan is that it will allow the team to do faster content iterations if they can release small segments at a time instead of a full featured expansion.

The content will be Skaven-themed, which the team has been hinting at all year. There will not be new classes as we saw with the previous content update, but Gouskos stated that they are doing something interesting with careers. Details are still being worked out as to what exactly that will entail.

20 more Renown Ranks will be added. The PvE level cap will remain the same but the levelling curve will be changed to make it easier for players to get to higher levels faster to join the other players.

Open RvR will be updated again to make it more enjoyable for existing players. A new playable RvR area will also be added.

It was good to hear the game is forward looking, but one of the challenges of WAR RvR is that there are only two factions. In an RvR based game it becomes all too easy for one side to heavily dominate the other if there isn’t a third element, making it frustrating at times. I asked Gouskos how they keep the balance, and if that was part of the upcoming content.

“It is difficult,” she responded. “We don’t want to put a population cap on areas. We do that enough with our scenarios. We want to keep our Open RvR open. So we’re adding incentives for underpopulated realms.

We added ‘Against All Odds’ as the first incentive in version 1.36 which launched earlier this week. Players have been running away when they’re outnumbered in a zone and that’s not what we want them to do. The player doesn’t have to take on the zerg if he’s outnumbered; he can pick off someone at the end. The idea of ‘Against All Odds’ is to make it so the player cannot resist going for the award. What we hope to see is that with enough incentives this will happen enough that things will start to balance out.”

Faction balance aside, players of the game have had their own requests. I asked Gouskos how they decide on what to implement from the player requests.

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“Working with the community has become integral this year,” she answered. “We have an ‘In Development’ post where we present ideas first to our core testers. We tell them ‘here’s what we’re thinking of doing,’ and we hash out the ideas with them. As a developer, you have to be very careful about how you listen to your audience. Obviously, they want everything for themselves, and you also never know if they’re going to be completely happy. So some things we can say ‘we’ll definitely work on’ and other things we’ll have to modify. We spend a lot of time sifting through that. After we’ve taken out the ideas from the core testers we present it to the public. We then open it up to feedback and work through it that way.”

A current example of one of the community requests in development alongside the content update is paid server transfers. Gouskos confirmed they are exploring options to allow players to change realms through a service. In addition, alternate subscription plans and payments are being looked into.

There is no word yet when the paid updates will be going live.

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