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PAX08: WAR's Jeff Hickman on patches, open beta and content rumors

Kyle Horner

After our interview with both Paul Barnett and Jeff Hickman at PAX08, we talked some more with Jeff about various subjects regarding the upcoming open beta and subsequent launch of Warhammer Online. It was a incredibly casual and open discussion on topics that are usually met with fiery bile depending on what part of the internet you happen to be at any given moment. One particular question we asked revolved around the choice to limit players in the open beta to level 20 out of the 40 total in the game. The move has of course spawned some skeptics of the existence of higher level content. Find out exactly what Jeff had to say about that below the cut.

Gallery: PAX 2008 General Gallery | 41 Photos

Massively: So what's going in with the next patch?

Jeff: So the next patch for open beta includes player vaults, guild vaults, auction house, a whole bunch emotes an crazy stuff, general effects clean-up, a new Public Quest and quest tracker for the user interface, so the main UI will be completely done after this patch. All of those things are going to be ready for launch.

Massively: Are there any more map art tweaks?

Jeff: Yes, absolutely. The full world map will be there.

Massively: Will you be tweaking the realm balance map, or is that staying the same?

Jeff: The second level map with all the racial pairings are pretty much the same, but there are some changes happening to the right-hand side that tracks all your quests and stuff. We're cleaning that up. A lot of final clean-up and polish.

Massively: So that patch is going to hit for open beta on September 7th?

Jeff: Soon.

Massively: Well, right now is the closed beta even open?

Jeff: So, closed beta shut down yesterday or the day before in preparation for open beta. Gotta remember, open beta is going to be ... huge. We're putting up a lot of servers and we gotta prep 'em all.

Massively: There has been some complaining amongst some of the more hardcore player-base that the length of the open beta is not enough for people to properly experience WAR. What would you say to them?

Jeff: I'd say we're trying to give you as much time as we possibly can. We want to get the game out and there's just a lot of pieces that we wanted to get into this last patch before open beta. So we're trying to get all this patch in -- which is going into testing right now -- and then we're going to open up the open beta as soon as we feel comfortable with it. We want to give you as much time as we can in open beta before the game launches. The simple fact is that we've lifted our NDA and you can see what we got. We had this sneak preview weekend where everybody's talking about it -- very positively -- and then we have open beta. Anybody that really wants to experience the game most likely will get the opportunity to at least get in and play around with it and then you get in to play the game when we go live. There's nothing to fear, the game is great.

Massively: Oh yeah, being in the beta for a while now, we can easily say that the rumors of Tier 3 and Tier 4 being barren are-

Jeff: [highly amused laughter]

Massively: Yeah, exactly.

Jeff: That's just, not true. [residual chuckling] So Tier 3, Tier 4, the capital cities, all the high level dungeons -- all of that stuff is there and ready to go, it's ready. We just need to open the flood gates, you know?

Massively: We're glad we could clear that up.

Jeff: Absolutely.

If you'd like to hear more of Paul Barnett, Jeff Hickman and Josh Drescher talking about everything but Warhammer Online itself, check out a PAX special edition of our sister site Big Download's podcast, the BigCast. It's possibly the most entertaining and random discussion we've heard in a long time. Bacon Salt!

Warhammer Online Coverage Did you enjoy this? Make sure to check out all of our previous Warhammer Online features, and don't miss any of our ongoing coverage as Massively goes to WAR!

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