PAX08: WAR's Paul Barnett and Jeff Hickman interviewed

Kyle Horner
K. Horner|08.31.08

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PAX08: WAR's Paul Barnett and Jeff Hickman interviewed

On the first day of PAX08, we sat down with Mythic Entertainment's Jeff Hickman and Paul Barnett to discuss several different topics concerning Warhammer Online. We've covered the game very extensively to put it lightly, so for this go-around our goal was to mix things up a bit for the dynamic duo of Jeff and Paul. (Josh Drescher was there, but he was embroiled in a deep discussion about Bacon Salt and its many uses) Let's just say we got some interesting comments about Vampire Counts and Tomb Kings. So, amidst the constant murmuring of the exhibition hall, we recorded the following interview for your listening pleasure.

[MP3] Download this interview in MP3 format

[Thanks, Chainsore]

Massively: If you have a stable launch, what will you guys be focusing on initially? After launch, a couple of months after, a month after... After everything's stable.

Jeff: Oooh, yeah-

Paul: I table that question to Jeff Hickman.

Jeff: I don't know if I can answer that. I can tell you this: We've been planning the first two years for a while now. We are already in pre-production on the expansion, but that's not our focus. Our focus is getting the game out, making sure we have a stable launch and making sure that for a month to two, to three months after launch that anything we need to do to make the game fun, better or whatever. Until we launch we don't know what we're going to do. Now, we have lots of plans for our live team as far as things that we're going to do to enhance the game and things that we're going to do to enhance certain systems in the game. But I can't talk about any of if yet, because we need to launch the game first.

Massively: Exactly, we understand that. I think the biggest stigma with a lot of players is to look at a recently launched game from a little while ago...

Jeff: What could you be talking about?

Massively: A certain barbarian, I suppose.

Paul: Hey, I found out the age of Conan. He's thirty-six years old. That is the age of Conan.

(cheeky Paul)

Jeff: Interesting.

Massively: A lot of players have the worry that, "Hey you know the game launches," and whether or not it's good or bad the wonder, "what's there afterwards?"

Jeff: Ah man, I'll tell you. When you guys hear what we have planned... So, we had so much experience with Dark Age of Camelot that we know what our lifecycle is going to be like, we know all the little cool things we're going to do, all the medium-sized cool things we're going to do and all the big-sized cool things we're going to do. And we've been sitting down and talking about, you know what the players are going to like? This! How about, this! And this! And it's cool new stuff. Expansions on our current stuff. We're really excited, not just for launch but what comes after.

Massively: Awesome! To that end, what time-frame do you think we're looking at for previously cut content that isn't in the game right now? Is there any kind of window?

Jeff: Yes, but I can't tell you what it is. These are stupid answers but they're the best answers I can give you. We're going to do them when the time is right, and we're going to do them as soon as we can.

Paul: We've actually got a wealth of thing we want to do.

Jeff: Yes.

Paul: Tons. Not just stuff we've announced, but stuff that's been on our whiteboards forever.

Jeff: Yes!

Paul: Where we go "You know what? We need to get down to all these areas." What we're looking for at all times is making the game deeper, making the game richer and looking at what works and looking at what doesn't work. One of the things that people would have known if they've been in our beta, which has been running now, for, nine months?

Jeff: Nine and a half, actually.

Paul: We're reactive, we take a lot of data and we are constantly going, "You know what? It doesn't matter what we think is right, we need to put in what is right for our customers and how they're experiencing it and the feedback they're giving." So, what you're going to see is more of that.

Jeff: Monster improvements! That's right.
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