Games Day '09: Managing realm vs. realm combat with Jeff Skalski pt. 2

Seraphina Brennan
S. Brennan|05.19.09

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Games Day '09: Managing realm vs. realm combat with Jeff Skalski pt. 2

On top of that, we are aggressively looking at city sieges. On the RvR team, that's where the big focus is. The last big improvement in the open RvR arena was adding a second ramp to the keeps, but now our focus is on the city. We want to make sure that players know what's going on, like with the stages of the city. It's really three stages -- contested when you enter in, then the attackers can push it to pillaged so the warlord PQs open up, then it goes to captured and you unlock the king's instance for a set amount of time.

"Our goal is to make the city siege RvR, not RvE."

Our goal is to make the city siege RvR, not RvE. We want to put more focus on killing players, capturing and holding objectives, and we want that to be the front from beginning to end so there's always RvR in the game. So that's what we're looking at right now, working with those concepts and fleshing out those ideas.

Any previews or details on that yet?

It's really too early to say. We just started meeting with our core testers and explaining to them the ideas we have, and we're throwing things out there while finalizing what we want to do. I can say that for the players out there who are saying, "Oh, make it more epic, make it more epic," well that's what we're focusing on. We're trying to bring the quality of epic up, but at the same time we have many other things going on too. There's always bug fixing and things to work on, so we have to be careful. We want to react quickly and get it done now rather work on it for 10 months and fix it next year.

What would you say to a player who holds the opinion that something like Warcraft's PvP is superior to Warhammer's RvR?

This is my opinion, but I find when I talk to players who have that opinion that it's about convenience as to why they prefer the WoW model of PvP over the WAR model. We're really seeing a change. So, for you and I, we've been playing MMOs for a while. But there are people out there who have never touched any other MMO except for WoW. That game is all they know. They don't know what EQ was like, they don't know what UO was like, they don't know what MUDs are, so they don't have this broad concept. They just want stuff now and they want to get out quickly. They want instant gratification and they want to be constantly patted on the back with an enthusiastic, "Good job, good job!"

"Then we added in the token system because we understand that at the end of the day you just may not get that loot roll."

So when WAR was launched, we didn't have anything like the token system. We just took the approach of, "Well, you're just going to have to work for it. I'm sorry, but you have to go out, fight enemies, get through their keeps, and go for it." What ended up happening was the players began taking the path of least resistance. Players even went to lengths to avoid one another, and that really confused us. We thought they had bought our game to RvR, but they're avoiding enemies! Then we had things like keep trading and round robin keeps going on, so that's why we went to zone domination. It's why we took the rewards off of flipping a keep and put it on flipping the zone. That way you're not just hopping from pairing to pairing and going around, and around, and around. Now they want to capture and fight for that zone.

Then we added in the token system because we understand that at the end of the day you just may not get that loot roll. I, honestly, have horrible luck. I rarely, if ever, get the gold bag. Now for participating you get this token. Sure, you need a lot of them, but you know you're getting somewhere.

We're learning a lot about the player base. We hear all of the feedback from the players and hear what they're complaining about. When I come into work in the morning I have, from multiple sources, the top five issues of the game. And that helps me and the other producers determine exactly what we need to put our teams on. What needs to be hotfixed before the weekend, what needs to be put into the next patch, or whatever.

So they game is getting better. The game is better today than it was at launch in terms of stability, performance, and how the systems are working. We have teams dedicated to it and we just keep pushing it.
The sands of the Tomb Kings are coming as the final release in the Call to Arms live expansion, the Land of the Dead approaches! Massively has your back with coverage from Mythic Entertainment at Games Day '09, so get your WAAGGGHHH ready for RvR mayhem as Massively re-arms for WAR!
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