A Warhammer Online Interview with Lance Robertson - Page Two

One particular change from Dark Age that customers will recognize is the removal of some of the protracted siege elements that were in some parts of DAoC. “Instead of taking a lot of time to break down that wall,” Robertson said, “we wanted players to go and kill an enemy instead. It’s people fighting one another instead of laying siege to their buildings. This doesn’t mean that there will be no sieges, but it’s going to be different. We’re talking about sacking cities, but there isn’t going to be a focus on the siege.”

Although a city can be sacked, my next question focused on what happened to the city once it was taken over by another race. Would that city then be occupied by the attacker or would the city simply reset to be sacked again and again?

Witch Hunter and burning heretic
Witch Hunter and burning heretic
The Witch Hunter loves burning his heretics, which he would do a lot of if he helped sack a city.

“While it’s no fun to be beaten down over and over again,” Robertson said. “We are going to allow attackers to keep cities they sack. However, there will be elements built into the game that help and reward a race that retakes their city from the attackers (and vice versa). If an attacker stays in long enough, NPCs may even begin spawning to kick them out of the city.

“Ultimately, this game is all about bragging rights,” Robertson said. “A player can stay in a city and taunt his opponent, letting them know how long they’ve been in the city. There will be easily visible features that allow players to see how long a race has occupied a city. And there are things to do inside these cities that allow you to do things that you may not be able to do if you don’t occupy the city or occupy it for a certain amount of time.”

Although many of the RvR and castle-sacking elements can be enjoyed by individuals of all levels, the end-game portion of that part of the game is crucial for the overall success of Warhammer Online. DAoC found that many end-game users focused almost entirely on the RvR battles, and the WAR crew hasn’t ignored this aspect of the gameplay. “All of the elements we discussed earlier certainly fit into the end-game scenario for us, but we also have included things like the Tome of Knowledge (a picture of which we are going to add to this article).”

Similar to the journal players received in Final Fantasy XII, Warhammer Online gamers will be able to catalogue a whole slew of individual accomplishments in the Tome of knowledge. The journal is an in-game accessible item, and it even has guild entries that allow a guild to display their achievements to players as an advertising incentive. “Players might kill an enemy and discover that they have a new journal entry in their Tome,” Robertson said. “If they kill even more enemies they might unlock a new title or eventually earn a reward of some kind. It’s really like a giant encyclopedia of information with awards attached to it, but it also functions as an ongoing storyline of your life in the game.”

Speaking of the storyline aspects of Warhammer, I wondered what sort of elements made the characters in WAR really feel like

Jeff, Garrett, and Lance Robertson
Jeff, Garrett, and Lance Robertson
Another shot of Jeff, Garrett, and Lance.
heroes at the end of the day. In response, Lance suggested that gamers will find that their characters are not only amazing troves of customizability, but that each of the races and professions will have their each individual storyline to follow throughout the game. On top of that, you’ll have your own faction and race to gather honor and esteem from. “We worked hard to integrate your character into his race and his realm, making them an integral part of that general ‘fighting the bad guy’ storyline,” Robertson said.

In many MMOGs, its fairly common to see particular races (or classes) join together in a particularly unified movement against another race/class of that area, even if that race/class is on their side. With the races really relying on each other in Warhammer Online, I wondered if the races would be able to tell if a particular race is not putting in enough effort to help the overall goals of their realm. “To a degree they will be able to tell,” Robertson said. “Mainly by looking at the state of their cities. However, the other allied races will want to assist their teammates, simply because they can’t have one weak link ruin the entire chain.”

With that, I had to take my leave from Lance and scoot over to the rest of the Ten Ton Hammer crew to check out the rest of our meetings for the evening. I’d like to personally thank Lance for taking the time to chat with me and the whole of the Ten Ton Hammer staff. For you readers, make sure you check out the Ten Ton Hammer video – the official date for the information release on the two sects of Elves is revealed in the interview, so start watching!

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